Torre talks of tears

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.

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  1. Jimmy P said...

    Why’d he write it?  Because he’s classless, greedy, and doesn’t really care about anyone not named Joe Torre.  You know, all the stuff that he and everyone else rips on Alex Rodriguez for.

  2. The Common Man said...

    “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.”

    You know, I wrote about this yesterday.  Torre really seems to be brazenly ignoring the “what happens in Vegas” rule that every other clubhouse seems to have.  And as little regard as I generally give to chemistry, I do wonder whether Dodger players are going to be willing to bust their butts for, defend, and take instruction from a guy who pretty clearly doesn’t care about their best interests.

  3. Jason @ IIATMS said...

    Maybe Joe’s finally senile and doesn’t realize he’s <u>actually</u> coaching any longer.  He just has to rely on Manny carrying an underachieving Dodgers team to the playoffs then collect the accolades.

  4. Jason @ IIATMS said...

    And I made this comment over at my place on Sunday:

    However true it might all be, couldn’t/shouldn’t this have been saved until Torre was out of the game? It reeks of bitterness. Torre has fashioned a sterling reputation in and out of baseball as a wonderful manager of people. I wonder if that will change, at least IN the game, if his lockerroom recognizes that he’s probably taking notes for his next edition?

  5. Tim Kelly said...

    I would say that Torre is breaking “clubhouse rules” but what of the consequences?  Phil Jackson wrote a scathing book in which he roasted Kobe Bryant, and subsequently was brought back to the SAME team to coach that same player!

    It seemed at the time that Jackson had burned a bridge to LA & NBA clubhouses in general but it turns out neither happened.  He raked in a bunch of money for a juicy memoir, is still respected as an all-time coach, and is back with that same team and brought them to the Finals last year. 

    Apparently it’s no longer a big deal to break the clubhouse rules…  Who knew that Torre would learn things so quickly out in LA?

  6. alskor said...

    I think people are forgetting we’re barely a year removed from Torre feeling he was thrown under the bus by everyone around him.

  7. pete said...

    Setting aside the question of whether or not Torre should be talking about stuff that went on in the locker room, I’m having a hard time figuring out whether or not the fact that this stuff was going on tarnishes his legacy.

    Torre has been painted as this unifying figure over the last decade or so, and now we’re finding out, from the horse’s mouth, that things weren’t quite as calm as they seemed. Does he get credit for leading the team through this garbage, or does the fact that it went on earn him demerits?

    You’ve gotta give a manager credit for leading the team through this type of stuff (although I’m sure it happens on just about every team), but St. Torre was held in such esteem that the very existence of clubhouse strife might take him down a notch in the eyes of some.

    The other interesting component is the Old Yankee/New Yankee, Fake Yankee/True Yankee divide we’re starting to see portrayed in this book. We already know that Torre had problems with Lofton and Sheffield…can anyone think of any others? It’ll be interesting to see what mercenaries like Giambi, Abreu, Randy Johnson, etc have to say.

  8. Nate said...

    Let’s not forget that Joe is quite the opportunist. With the Yanks re-loading, another championship season would seriously hurt his sales for this book. I’ve seen the Phil Jackson comparisons elsewhere, but I think baseball’s inner sanctuary is a little more off-limits than hoops, at least to the public eye.
    I also wonder if this has any influence on Manny’s return to La-la.

  9. MikeD said...

    Not only are we a little more than a year from Torre being let go by the Yankees, but I believe he signed the contract on the book in late 2007, which no doubt occured right after he felt he was burned by the Yankees. 

    Although I find Torre’s actions questionable, I will also be reading it.  What the heck. I love good baseball book, especially one with background and stories we haven’t heard.  Yet, at the rate the newsites and bloggers are letting out snippets, I wonder if there will be anything left worth reading by next week.

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