The latest Torre stuff: Johnny Damon’s lack of heart in 2007 brought players to tears or something:
Interesting stuff on Pages 394 and 395 about Johnny Damon’s physical and emotional struggles early in the 2007 season, when a leg injury sapped him of his enthusiasm and he began to annoy old-guard Yankees.
In a private meeting, Torre told Damon, “The kind of player you’ve been your whole life is the player who goes out there and fully commits himself. You’re not that kind of person now. It’s easy to see that.”
To which Damon said, “I’m not sure I want to do this.”
The book says one teammate visited Torre and was near tears discussing Damon, saying, “Let’s get rid of him. Guys can’t stand him.”
The tears seem a bit much. Tell me: when you’re complaining about someone behind their back and trying to get them fired, aren’t you more angry than tearful? Wait, you don’t plot against your co-workers like that? Well pardon me, your majesty.
Anyway, here is a list of the people who are probably happy with the Joe Torre book: Joe Torre, Tom Verducci, The Doubleday Publishing Group, column writers, bloggers, talk radio hosts and Joe Girardi, who will no longer have to compete with the fiction that Torre inspired some preternatural calm and good chemistry in the Yankee clubhouse which he cannot replicate.
And here is a list of the people who are probably not very happy with the Joe Torre book: Every Yankee player who joined the team after 2000, the Yankee front office and, in all likelihood, every player on the current Los Angeles Dodgers roster who can now expect to be thrown under the bus by their boss when the sequel implied by the title of this book is inevitably written.
I’m going to read this book. I’ll probably like a lot of it because it appears to cover a lot of stuff we’ve never heard before. I still can’t fathom, however, why Joe Torre wrote this book, at least while he’s still in the game.