Former Yankee skipper Joe Torre has a new book out, co-written by Tom Verducci, and the Times‘ Muchiko Kakutani is impressed with its insights into the fall of the team in the past seven years, which the book depicts as starting when “Steinbrenner began to indulge his taste for what Torre calls ‘big boppers” like Jason Giambi” instead of nurturing the homegrown talent. Of course all anyone else can talk about is Torre’s comments on big bopper Alex Rodriguez. “‘A’-TEAM BLASTS TORRE,” cries the Post. “It’s obviously a ploy to sell books,” “one insider” — presumably a Steinbrenner factotum — tells the Post, which also cites Torre’s claim that teammates called Rodriguez “A-Fraud” and that the third baseman “had developed a ‘Single White Female’-like obsession with captain Derek Jeter.”
“Joe Torre,” Ball Four author Jim Bouton tells the Post, “is the kind of guy you’d have to push pretty far to have him come out and publicly bash you.” “Teammates in Seattle, Texas and now New York have said that and worse about him,” says the LoHud Yankees Blog. The Daily News says Torre gave Yankee GM Brian Cashman a heads-up before the book came out (it has some complaints about him, too).
Other outlets are more phlegmatic. “After another season of middling failure,” says NBC’s Patrice Evans, “there’s a sense that the media and fans have gotten tired of kicking A-Rod around. They prefer to Let Madonna handle that.” “My opinion on Torre letting the cat out of the bag,” says the Staten Island Advance‘s Yankees Watch, “is: WHO CARES.”
Others exhibit more of what Torre calls the hallmark of his Yankee teams: defensive play. “I thought Joe Torre Had More Class,” says sportsblogger Larry Brown. “I’m sure [the book] also doesn’t discuss Torre’s on-field decisions,” says River Avenue Blues, “which had drawn the ire of fans for the last four or five years of his tenure.” “Without quality talent — like Manny for instance — [Torre’s] teams are no better than any other team.” “The sad thing about this entire ordeal,” says Bronx Baseball Blog, “is that now this is going to be the most talked about thing during spring training that isn’t Jorge Posada’s shoulder.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 26, 2009