Monday, January 26, 2009

Joe Torre Book

On February 3, Joe Torre's new book "The Yankee Years" will be on shelves all across the country. The long time New York Yankees manager bashes 3rd basemen Alex Rodriguez noting that he was known as "A-fraud" by some of the guys in the locker room and that he was absolutely obsessed with his relationship/rivalry with shortstop Derek Jeter. Torre also attacks General Manager Brian Cashman, saying that he was "betrayed on several fronts" by him. He is also upset with other members of the organization and claims that team doctors told Owner George Steinbrenner that Torre has prostate cancer in 1999 before they told him.

People keep saying that this book isn't about exposing the problems that the organization has or the poor attitudes and bad relationships of some of the guys on the team. They say that it's just a small part of the book and it focuses more on his time with the Yankees and how his Yankee teams changed baseball. (the growth of information analysis, revenue sharing, growth of intellect in front offices, changes in Red Sox ownership, the Steroid Era, etc.)

To be honest with you, this stuff is interesting but irrelevant to me as a fan. I could care less how A-Rod gets along with his teammates. As long as he keeps producing, like he has been his whole career, he can be whoever he wants to be off the field. Criticising the best all around player in the game, and potentially the greatest hitter who ever lived, isn't a smart thing to do. As for his relationship with Brian Cashman, sources say that the two have talked on the phone and that they are still friends. I think Torre is just bitter and frustrated that the Yankees cut ties with him and this is a cheap shot by him. As professionals, things that happen within the team should stay within the team.

Even though Torre did win 4 World Series with the Yankees I felt like he overstayed his welcome by years. People ask me "how can you say he was a bad coach?, he won 4 championships!". Well when he had the highest payroll in the league 7 years in a row he won nothing. It started getting to the point where Torre made a dumb decision game in and game out and their loses were the result of his inability to coach. Most people who say this don't even watch that many Yankee games. It's similar to how a lot of Phillies fan don't think Charlie Manuel is a good coach, but to someone like me who only watches a few Phillies games a year, thinks that he is a great manager because the Phils won the division 2 years in a row and now a World Series.

Bottom line is that this book is ridiculous and unnecessary, and just because Torre had a bad ending in New York, he feels like he needs to lash back at the organization which he feels abandoned him. I don't think this will be too much of a distraction for this Yankees team, as they have changed not only the players on their team but the mentality of the organization.

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