Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

So shame on me for the ruse

Yankees last year at Fenway. Six men on the mound. Six. Photo taken by Kelly O’Connor/ Used with permission.

I finished reading “The Yankee Years” today. I’m having trouble figuring out how I want to break this down there’s just so much to cover. So, once again, I’ll be a little all over the place.

I think I figured out why Joe Torre gets the lead writing credit on the book. Although it’s obviously written by Tom Verducci and any of Torre’s contributions seem to come in the form of direct quotes, there isn’t one negative word about Torre in the entire 482 (including “Acknowledgments”) pages. More than once we’re told that Torre tells George Steinbrenner that all he wants is to make Steinbrenner “proud”. We repeatedly read about how he always had his players backs (as he rips into David Wells, Carl Pavano and Kevin Brown for the book, to name three) and how he blindly believed Brian Cashman was a friend who would always have his back only to be betrayed at the end. After reading this book, I’m wondering why the photo of Torre on the cover doesn’t have a halo over it.

Also, if Johnny Damon gets someone to read this book to him, he probably won’t be too happy.

There’s a direct quote from him in Chapter 13 (“We Have a Problem”) in regard to the 2007 season: “Every day in the off-season…I didn’t feel like getting ready for baseball…”. He goes on to say he was having too much fun playing with his kids and that he felt “…unprepared to make that decision about playing”. Eesh. I suppose it’s possible that I just forgot reading this quote before, but man…his own words just set up this part of the chapter where we learn that he barely got off his ass for a good portion of the beginning of that season and turned many of his teammates against him in the process. Verducci quotes “a player” as being close to tears when telling Torre (in regard to Damon), “Let’s get rid of him….guys can’t stand him”. And there’s a team meeting recalled where Jeter, Pettitte and Rivera spoke about “relying on each other” without specifically calling out Damon, but it being understood who they were referring to. In this same meeting, Damon got up to speak and repeated the message..much to the surprise of Joe Torre and others. The guy sitting on his ass and being unreliable was the guy telling the rest of the team to get off their asses and be reliable. It’s good to know Johnny’s as thick behind the scenes as he comes across to the media.

And in the event that you’re looking for more reasons to think A*Rod is a bit of a dink, after Joe Torre’s final game with the Yankees, all the players stopped by to say goodbye…except for Slappy. And when he won the MVP a month later and Torre called to congratulate him, A*Rod never returned the call. (Of course, this could also go back to the “Joe Torre has never done anything wrong” theme that permeates the book. Not defending Slappy on another dick move, but this books is wildly one-sided when it comes to anything involving Torre.)


February 18, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , | Leave a comment

And there we saw the men and boys as thick as hasty pudding

And now for the post I originally planned to write tonight!

I wrote last night a bit about the Joe Torre/Tom Verducci book and I just finished reading more about it. Poor Tom Verducci. Everyone talking about his book that hasn’t even been released yet. I’m sure he’s disappointed that, supposedly, all the talk is about things that really aren’t written in the book.

Riiight, Tom. has a story about how Brian Cashman hopes the book brings Slappy closer with his teammates this year. (This after Joe Torre supposedly called Cashman to tell him that the book wasn’t as bad as has been reported.) Dig:

“I think we’ve gone through so much of the Alex stuff that, you know, if anything, maybe this brings people closer together,” Cashman said.

Sure. Alex Rodriguez has “uniter” written all over him. Anyone can see that.

I checked the Dodgers schedule to see if maybe they play the Yankees in inter-league this year. They don’t. So, short of hoping it would cause a stir in that sense, I can’t figure out what Verducci and/or Torre thought the good would be of not only writing this book while Torre was still in baseball, but of having parts of it leaked out just before spring training begins. In addition to talking about his new contract with the Yankees, Andy Pettitte was put in the position of answering questions about ARod. (Come to think of it, is Scott Boras involved in this some how? Showing up Andy on HIS day would be right up his alley.)

I love me some baseball drama. Especially when it doesn’t involve the Red Sox. But this all just seems so contrived. “Ooh they’re picking on ARod again, we’ll all have to come together as a team and support him!”. Meh. I just hope the book is juicier than Verducci is telling us it is. We already know Slappy is an insecure, egomaniac. That stuff won’t keep people reading past a few pages.

January 26, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , | Leave a comment