McCarver, who along with Joe Buck insisted in a previous broadcast that Joe Torre was the biggest reason the YES Network was so successful (as if the reason fans turned in to watch those games was to see the manager, and not the players!) gave a one-sided account of Torre's tenure with the Yankees. The broadcaster accused the front office of "corporate childishness" and said it was "the one thing they have bungled." He also had this to say about the Yankee front office's treatment of Torre:
You remember some of those despotic leaders in World War II, primarily in Russia and Germany, where they used to take those pictures that they had ... taken of former generals who were no longer alive, they had shot 'em. They would airbrush the pictures, and airbrushed the generals out of the pictures. In a sense, that's what the Yankees have done with Joe Torre. They have airbrushed his legacy. I mean, there's no sign of Joe Torre at the stadium. And, that's ridiculous. I don't understand it.No, what's ridiculous is that McCarver would make such ignorant, outrageous comments, that simultaneously prop up Joe Torre as a victim and smear the Yankees front office, and that have no basis in fact. To compare Torre to a victim of Nazis and Soviet Communists is both offensive and absurd. These comments were in such incredibly bad taste, I half-expected McCarver to compare Torre's "The Yankee Years" to "The Diary of Anne Frank" and "The Gulag Archipelago."
McCarver has a lot in common with Torre, besides both of them having acrimonious ends to their tenure in Yankeeland. Both used to be very good at their jobs, but then they got complacent and arrogant as their fame and fortune grew. And both felt entitled to do whatever they wanted because of who they were, and thought they could just wing it on their names, without any preparation.
Now McCarver thinks that comparing Torre - who became a rich man and a future Hall of Famer thanks to his time as a Yankee - to Nazi and Soviet victims is just peachy. I think McCarver is off his rocker.
Let's review - Joe left Yankeeland because of the "insult" of getting a one-year, $5 million contract offer with an additional $3 million in incentives. He signed a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers for less money than the Yankees offered him. Then he wrote "The Yankee Years" and trashed George Steinbrenner and the Yankee front office. He moved on, and so did the Yankees. But according to McCarver, the team ought to be obsessing about poor Joe every day. Give me a break.
Yes, Torre got left out of that Yankee Stadium closing tribute, and he should have been mentioned there. But McCarver didn't even bring that up; instead he focused on stuff that isn't even true.
How should the Yankees sufficiently honor Torre right now? Retire his number? Give him a plaque in Monument Park? And does McCarver really think that either thing will happen when 1) he's still an active manager for another team, and 2) he has yet to apologize for biting the hand that fed him for twelve years?
Casey Stengel had three more rings than Joe Torre. He didn't get his Yankee number retired until 1970, ten years after he was fired, and five years after he retired from the Mets. He didn't get a plaque in Monument Park until 1976, the year after he died.
If Torre didn't write "The Yankee Years," I think the front office would have retired his number after he himself retired from managing. Now, I don't see that happening any time soon. But that's Joe's own fault, not the Yankees.
What do you think? Tell us about it!