Saturday, June 26, 2010

Shocker! Joe Torre stays awake for the whole Yankees-Dodgers game

One of the more amazing things about last night's New York Yankees/Los Angeles Dodgers matchup was that Joe Torre actually was awake during the game - and standing! And cursing!

It was utterly hilarious to watch him and Don Mattingly throw such uncharacteristic temper tantrums at the end of the game. They're freaking out over a called strike call on a pitch that Mariano Rivera threw? Ha! Gee, Joe, you might have gotten upset over, oh I don't know, the umpires insisting on playing a game despite a swarm of midges. Just saying.

Oh, and does A-Rod's homer against Vicente Padilla - the inning after Padilla got plunked by CC Sabathia in retaliation for the pitcher hitting Robinson Cano- count as "clutch"? Just wondering.

You know, I thought of something this morning regarding the whole Torre/A-Rod issue. How many times did we hear reporters over the years say A-Rod just needs to be himself, and say what he really thinks, instead of the right thing to say? And yet when he does that, not pretending to like Torre, the likes of George King are pushing him to say something fake, just because the Four Rings guys still like Torre. Unreal. It just goes to show that no matter what A-Rod says or does, the media will find a way to rip the guy.

I was reading the comments on Wally Matthews' latest anti-A-Rod piece, and they were better written and more intelligent than Matthews' hack job. Typical.

On another note - I saw that the New York Post changed their headline at the top of the page (the one with a little photo of A-Rod) from "A-Rod ruins reunion" to Love & War." Very interesting. Guess I wasn't the only person who thought that headline was a bad idea for a New York paper to run!

But you know what's been missing this weekend? Brian Cashman is apparently just as tired of Torre's act as A-Rod is, yet the media really hasn't highlighted how he, too, doesn't want to talk about Torre.

Jack Curry put it this way on Twitter (hat tip to reader Riddering):

Asked Brian Cashman about .Joe Torre twice 2day. He went no comment. For usually helpful Cashman to do that shows there's still enmity.

Very interesting!

In addition, somebody in the Yankee front office (and somebody in the Steinbrenner) must have talked with Buster Olney about Torre. He wrote a really interesting piece about how Torre is still despised in those quarters for his book. A few tidbits:
...When Torre took aim at others in his book, selling memories of in-house disagreements that he had always talked about hiding from public view, the collective opinion of him changed forever within the Yankees' organization. They found his portrayal of particular events to be fiction. They thought he unnecessarily demonized the Steinbrenner sons. They were stunned by how he torpedoed general manager Brian Cashman, who had shielded him through the years from the wrath of George Steinbrenner and been his strongest advocate. And they were appalled by what they viewed as cheap shots at the likes of Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Brown and Carl Pavano; in Pavano's case, Torre was in a unique position to know that all of his injuries were legitimate. In short, they came to view him as a hypocrite.

Torre has sometimes hid behind his co-author on the book, Tom Verducci, saying that Verducci learned a lot of the details contained within the book. But the people he left behind in the Bronx will never accept that excuse; Torre's name is on the cover, and it was his choice whether to include the passages that painted A-Rod, Pavano, Cashman and others in a negative light.
Olney seems to think that the only way Torre will ever repair things is to get in touch with Hal Steinbrenner to ask for a reconciliation -- without any financial strings attached. I think that sounds about right.

The writer also reveals:
For Torre, the anger and fury goes far beyond just one person, which will complicate any attempt at reconciliation. Even if one of the Steinbrenner sons and daughters ever thought about reaching out to Torre -- and to this point, there is no sign of that happening -- they would also know that those around them would not want to have anything to do with Torre if he came back, and they would probably refuse to welcome him back, or shake his hand.

To me, one of the worst things in the book was the way he trashed Steinbrenner - the person who catapulted him into legendary status - at a time The Boss when he was no longer able to defend himself. And to reveal personal details about Steinbrenner's health to sell books was just unspeakable. No wonder he's still persona non grata in Yankeeland.

What do you think? Tell us about it!


kcourtsclayton said...

Lisa, one of the most egregious things in Torre's book involved his revelations about Johnny Damon's depression after the Detroit series. To make that information public was incredibly disrespectful to Johnny. I sometimes wonder if Torre's willingness to speak about Damon's mental health at that time was because of Damon's feelings about A-Rod being dropped to eighth in the lineup. That was one of Damon's issues when he left the team (along with Corey Lidle's death) so I wonder if St. Joe didn't like to be second-guessed.

Lisa Swan said...

Great points. To me, that was one of the worst things in the book. Johnny Damon was - and is - a really terrific guy. He didn't deserve that treatment.

I think the fact that Damon was, in 2006, one of the few public defenders of A-Rod probably contributed to it. As did the fact that at least one of the four rings guys didn't like him, as quoted anonymously in the book telling Torre to get rid of him.

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