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Torre tales

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff January 26, 2009 09:00 AM

There’s that section of People, US -- or whatever pop-culture gossip magazine the wife leaves hanging around from time to time -- that presents photographs of celebrities caught doing mundane chores such as picking up groceries, scooping up their dog’s movements on the sidewalk, or arguing a speeding ticket with a look of “Don’t you know who I am?” with a flash of bling in the LA sunlight.

"Celebrities -- They’re just like us!"

We can only assume how this little pronouncement fully completes the lives of thousands. "You mean Jada Pinkett Smith drinks coffee too? No depression for me today!"

Still, it is somewhat comforting when a particular view you’ve held over time seems justified, seeing how somebody close to the situation really doesn’t differ all that much in his or her own perspective. After all, ask Joe Torre how he feels, and you’ll discover, "He thinks just like you!"

Torre’s new book, “The Yankees Years,” co-written with Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, made ripples in the New York headlines yesterday, when The New York Post and Newsday revealed some enlightening comments allegedly made by the former Yankees skipper when it came to Alex Rodriguez and owner George Steinbrenner:

Torre gets most personal in his attacks against Alex Rodriguez, who he says was called "A-Fraud" by his teammates after he developed a "Single White Female"-like obsession with team captain Derek Jeter and asked for a personal clubhouse assistant to run errands for him.

Hey . . . that’s . . . that's what everybody thinks.

To be fair, Verducci has attempted to put out the flames, somewhat, with a Q&A on CNNSI.com, where he argues that this is a third-person narrative, and that the reader must take Torre’s comments “in context.” If the man were merely about selling the book, he’d be plenty happy with the tabloid-y leaks that went on yesterday. Go figure, he’s concerned about the way it’s portrayed in its marketing, which means there's actually, you know, substance to the product.

In the Q&A, the author said: “It's not a tell-all book -- it's a very insightful book into baseball. It's a much larger book about the Yankees, not only how the game changed around them, but the growth of information analysis, revenue sharing, growth of intellect in front-offices, changes in Red Sox ownership, the Steroid Era, etc.”

Actually, that sounds compelling. A lot more compelling than more A-Rod bashing, which, at this point, is like turning on the TV to catch some Food Network competition. Omnipresent, and not really worth $24.95. (Which reminds me, Comcast, we need to talk. Again.)

And we’re capitalizing “Steroid Era” these days? Can we get a ruling on this?

21 comments so far...
  1. Your comment regarding the capitalization of "Steroid Era" made me laugh out loud in my cubicle. Thanks!

    Posted by Serena January 26, 09 01:18 PM
  1. The Yankees have found out that much of their success WAS Joe Torre and not A-Fraud. The guys has played with 3 teams and made them all losers.......Torre was a winner in NY and now is a winner in LA...what's the magic here?
    A-Rod and his attitude are a blemish on this sport..he's lucky that steroids have stolen most of the negative headlines, because he is a pompous, arrogant, mean-spirited SOB to teammates,fans and management alike. It's like me paying my Uncle Morty to play in an office foresome tournament with me because he can hit the ball a mile, but I have to listen to his incessant crap for 18 holes...no thanks, I'd rather finish third and have a nice day.......

    Posted by Peter A. Saggese January 26, 09 02:00 PM
  1. I have to agree, never did like A-Rod. He's and I person. Everything is about him. I believe Joe what he said about A-Rod with Derek, A-Rod knows he will never take Derek place in the hearts of Yankee fans. Thats what killing him. and he is A-Fraud.

    Posted by Nikki Stevens January 26, 09 02:44 PM
  1. "Torre was a winner in NY and now is a winner in LA..."

    I'm not an A-Rod fan but this statement (and the sentiment behind it that has floated around since the end of the season) is misleading, at best. The Dodgers were a mediocre team in the worst division in baseball. They were on track to have a sub-500 record and miss the playoffs until another whiney superstar came and made their season for them and even then, they got into the playoffs by virtue of being in a crap division. Their record was the 15th best in baseball and five wins WORSE than the Yankees.

    Torre is, was, and always will be a very good manager of personalities but he is not a great baseball strategist and he does not make a winning team.

    Posted by Tim January 26, 09 03:52 PM
  1. I believe that Torre remains one of the fair and honorable people in baseball. I'm curious as to what he'll say in the book, and pre-ordered it last night on Barnes and Noble's website.
    I'm not in it so much for the A-Rod stuff as for the behind the scenes insight on Torre's relationship with the Steinbrenners and Cashman. Hope it will be worth it!

    Posted by Zack from Penn State January 26, 09 04:28 PM
  1. Torre is truly a class act and I feel that the book will be an insightful look at the Yanks...with little or no bashing or name calling...and...I certainly don't know A-Rod, but...insert smoke/fire cliche here....

    Posted by twheb January 26, 09 04:45 PM
  1. Just warms your heart as a Sox fan to see the Yankees soap opera story continue, we just had Manny.......only in New York, right out of Broadway....now that Joe is in LA when is the mini-series going to take filmed on HBO??

    Can't see DP or Youk needing a personal assistant.

    Posted by Christopher Vitto January 26, 09 06:28 PM
  1. A-Fraud LMFAO! A-wesome!

    Posted by dc January 26, 09 06:50 PM
  1. aw... he's like throwing high octane gas on the hatefilled yankee fire... just be glad the sox didn't get him! There is a God!

    Posted by Dave January 26, 09 07:02 PM
  1. Eric,

    How do you know the book isn't worth $25? It hasn't even been released yet.

    Posted by florida January 26, 09 07:49 PM
  1. There will never be another Derek Jeter or Joe Torre, those are true gentlemen and I am a die hard sox fan. I just know a good person when I see one, and A-rod will never ever come close to the class that those 2 have.

    Posted by kim January 26, 09 08:18 PM
  1. But he's so pretty!

    Posted by Ed Ducharme January 27, 09 05:55 AM
  1. How lucky was Theo and were we that we lost out on Alex Rodriguez?

    Posted by robertowalker January 27, 09 08:45 AM
  1. If Joe Torre is a class act why is his name on a book that airs dirty laundry about his Yankees days? Why does a man like Torre need to do this? Does he need the money? I wouldn't think so. And don't blame Tom Verducci, Torre approved the final copy. I just don't get it!!!!

    Posted by Mike Pinciaro January 27, 09 08:51 AM
  1. I was glad to see A-Rod's teammates come to his rescue one after the other yesterday. May bring the team even closer together.
    Torre obviously has lost any class he had in the California sun and is embittered about the way the Yankees treated him by offering him a measly $8 million dollar contract with incentives.
    Watch out Dodgers! Better renew Joe's contract or his next book will be about your management with some goodies about Manny Ramierez..

    Posted by Pat January 27, 09 01:50 PM
  1. Torre is disappointing. He should have more "respect" for the game, than to write a kiss and tell book like this. It shows all he cares about is money. He had no business writing this type of book, even if we all hate the Yankees and welcome the bashing.

    Posted by chip from ct January 27, 09 02:05 PM
  1. I have to agree with Mike Pinciaro. If Torre is such a class act, why does he rip former players, GM and owner while he's still managing, if at all? Also, if Torre was such a class act he would've put Manny in his place last year. Torre had the hammer but was afraid to use it. Up until then I had tremendous respect for him, but that scenario caused me to lose all my respect for Torre. Manny had to play. Had to! His contract was running out and he needed to show his stuff after the way he cheated the Red Sox out of the final months of the year by forcing a trade. Manny's LA play was on the John Henry's dime, and Torre could've told Manny he would sit his backside until he conformed. With Scott Boras pushing, Manny would've done it. Interesting how Boras pushed Manny away from the Sox. Could it be because he stood to earn absolutely nothing from Manny's final two years in Boston because Boras didn't negotiate that contract? I'd love to see Torre dish on Boras!

    Posted by Brian G. Walsh January 27, 09 02:05 PM
  1. Hey, even Yankee managers don't like the Yankees!

    Posted by J.Donohue January 27, 09 03:49 PM
  1. I'm curious why doesn't this paper have as many stories about Dustin Pedroia's brother as they have about Joe Torre bashing the Yankees?

    Posted by Louis January 27, 09 11:09 PM
  1. WHAT IF A-Rod had come to Fenway and the Sox had won 2 titles with him as the league's MVP multiple times? He would have been misunderstood athelete before and now a legend, worthy of being called the best player of our time (and no steroids!). Like with Bonds, a player deals with the devil for supreme skills and is cursed with a deficiency in social skills. A-Rod is a perfect Yankee.

    Posted by the deacon January 29, 09 12:52 AM
  1. Louis
    Probably cuz Dustin Pedroia's brother doesn't play for the Sox or even the sorry Yankees......Gotta love Joe Torre....Gotta admit I would love to know more about the Sox clubhouse with Manny and all, but I just don't see Francona writing it. Would be a guaranteed best seller, tho....Go Sox!!!!!!!

    Posted by minicodirtdawg January 30, 09 06:24 AM
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