Monday, January 26, 2009


BESTSELLER or one of the worst decisions of his baseball career? Joe Torre’s memoirs of 12 years as manager in the Bronx are sure to boost his bank balance, but will they tarnish his image as a New York Yankees legend?

That’s the debate raging among baseball fans following the leak of excerpts from “The Yankee Years”, due to be released on February 3.

In the book, written in conjunction with Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, Torre claims he was betrayed by general manager Brian Cashman and says that Alex Rodriguez was often referred to by his teammates as “A-Fraud”.

With the Super Bowl still a week away, and only basketball to report on, books like this are a godsend to tabloid newspapers.

Cashman says he has already spoken to Torre about the book and claims he is “very comfortable” about his relationship with the former Yankees skipper. Others, A-Rod included, are unlikely to be so understanding.

We all know Torre was bitter about his departure from the Yankees and feels that the offer of a one-year, $5 million contract plus incentives (a cut of $2 million) was an insult.

At the time, many Yankees fans sympathized with him, agreeing that he deserved better treatment from the Steinbrenner family after 12 years of loyal service.

But that was 15 months ago so it’s a little surprising that Torre has chosen now to open up old wounds.

Torre takes a shot at Cashman and "A-Fraud"

It’s even more surprising that he has taken a shot at Alex Rodriguez. For all his failings in the post-season, A-Rod was named American League MVP in two of the four seasons he played under Torre.

And he certainly isn’t the main reason why the Yanks have failed to win a World Championship since 2000.

By publicly criticizing A-Rod, Torre has gone against the unwritten code of conduct among sportsmen.

It’s one thing to tell all when you’ve retired but to do so while you’re still managing is out of order.

Torre may well have an axe to grind with the Yankees. But let’s not forget that they paid him around $45 million over 12 years and it’s not as though he’s fallen on hard times since leaving them.

He is entering the second year of a $13 million, three-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Torre will no doubt attempt to distance himself from some of the comments, claiming they were taken out of context and that he did not directly write the book.

But at a time when many hard-working Americans are losing their jobs through no fault of their own, some greedy people clearly don’t realize just how lucky they are.

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