Under the Hood

A couple of questions about Joe Torre’s new book:

1. Why write it now? No matter who has the moral high ground, doesn’t this sort of thing wear better after you retire?

2. Why the detached, third person narrative and cursory handling of his early years with the Yankees? I’m certain there’s a very interesting first person story inside Joe Torre that speaks to all he did and all he felt in his life. If so, and if you’re going to write a book now, why not write that one?

3. Michiko Kakutani reviews sports books? She’s probably the highest caliber book reviewer in the country. If Salinger or Pynchon come out with something new, she’d be on it. So I ask: isn’t that a bit of overkill for Joe Torre? Heck, I review sports books for a New York paper too. Which leads me to wonder: why am I not getting invited to any parties with Michiko Kakutani?

I like Joe Torre, so I’ll probably read this eventually, but I do find both the timing and the apparent content of this book to be rather curious.

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  1. Bobar said...

    Michiko Kakutani is atrocious and I would rather you start reviewing Pynchon than have her continue in her current position.

  2. MooseinOhio said...

    Part of me is wondering if Joe Torre and Phil Jackson are related as both have won a great many championships but were any of them do to their ability to coach/manage or the good fortune of getting out of the way of great players.

    Jackson has never developed a basketball team and winning with Jordan in his prime or with Kobe and Shaq (who benefited greatly by some very lenient rules) may not be as challenging as one may expect.  Torre won his championships with the Yanks when they clearly had some of the most talented teams in baseball but he has never been discussed as a great baseball mind.

    Granted both me possess the ability to manage the egos of stars and deal with the pressure of being in the media spotlight well but are either great coaches or were they fortunate to be at the helm of ships that pretty much guided themselves.  So is getting out of the way of greatness a skill or just the smartest thing one can do?

  3. YankeesfanLen said...

    Yes, the Times is getting goofy, and overkill is their forte.  Why didn’t Tyler Klempner review the book?  Given that, the slams are probably overblown by the tabloids anyway, I’ll know more on Feb 3 when the UPS man comes.

  4. Mark R said...

    So Torre pats himself on the back for managing the personalities of the late-90s Yankees but more or less blames A-Rod’s personality for the poor showings of the recent versions? Are we really supposed to believe that A-Rod is THAT much more difficult than Paul O’Neill? I think this calls for an FJM style list of things more responsible for the Yankees lack of World Series titles in recent years than A-Rod’s clubhouse presence:

    1. Derek Jeter’s defense
    2. Spiraling inflation in Zimbabwe
    3. Stupid free-agent signings
    4. Swamp gas
    5. Theo Epstein
    6. Haley Joel Osment’s DUI arrest
    7. Joe Torre

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