Wednesday, February 04, 2009

This is Where Joe Might Have Been Clueless

I've been fairly active on the blog-o-rific lately (unless you've been in a shelter and didn't know that the Steelers played in...and won...the Super Bowl).

Anyway, Sean from White Plains wanted to know why I haven't offered any thoughts about the former manager of the New York Yankees. Guess Mr. Torre wrote a book, eh?

Well I've been hesitant in part because there's so much rhetoric about St. Joe that I figured my $.02 wouldn't be worth much. Plus I have not read the book (and really haven't delved into the excerpts). Lastly, I had yet to hear from Joe Torre himself (and to be honest, I still haven't heard anything, as I've missed all of the interviews).

That being said, I'm disappointed that Joe (with Tom Verducci) felt it was necessary to wage, essentially, a war against the Yankees. I was a huge critic of the Yankees (especially Hank Steinbrenner and Randy Levine) when things fell apart with Torre, but this doesn't make things right. Now we run the risk of going into "Yogi" territory - 15 years or so before Joe Torre returns to Yankee Stadium to take his rightful place among the Bomber legends. Why would the team invite him back right now?

Overall, the book apparently isn't quite as bombastic as initially thought. The A-Fraud" thing was supposedly a joke (jeez, what a shock...has ANYBODY ever been among athletes before?). We all knew there was a rift between Joe Torre and David Wells. We know Rodriguez is driven by numbers. And on...and on...and on...

Of course, Jim Bouton doesn't see what the big deal is (yeah, that's because he wrote Ball Four, which opened the doors of the locker room years ago). I'm not sure I think it's that big of a deal either, considering the access that the media has to a team, and how nothing is protected anymore.

Quick thought on that though - the media does not travel with the team (as it used to). The writers aren't on the same plane (the broadcasters are). Still, the media reports everything these days.

Yet I would have liked to have seen Joe Torre keep this stuff tucked away for some time. One of Torre's pluses was that he protected his players, and seemed above the garbage that has infiltrated the locker rooms of today.

The reality is that I have not read the book, and I really don't intend to (unless somebody wants to give me a copy). I'm content to simply move on and get to pitchers and catchers (just a mere 11 days away).

In total, I do condemn Joe Torre for the book. I think it tarnishes his legacy, and it certainly casts a lot of people in a bad light. Torre, Brian Cashman, Randy Levine (though he doesn't need Torre's book to look bad), Wells, Pavano, and of course, A-Rod are just a few of the people who come off looking poor.

Gee, more fuel for the Yankees-haters fire (and for the Joe Torre-haters fire as well). Just what was needed.

It seemed unnecessary. It seemed sensationalistic. It seemed very un-Joe Torre-like.

Sad, really.

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