The Yankees came to play the Dodgers, and a lot of the Yankee veterans caught up with (former Yankees manager) Joe Torre around the batting cages. A-Rod got tons of news when he didn’t talk to Torre, even when Joe was only 10 feet away. The two had not talked since Joe wrote a tell-all book that made A-Rod look pretty bad.
At this point, the media asked both Joe and A-Rod tons of questions. That must be such an awkward thing, and of course, they both gave somewhat awkward answers (I thought Joe’s were more awkward). Joe has always clung to his original statement that everything he said was already public knowledge, and he didn’t violate any relationship.
I read the book last year, called the Yankee Years. There are a lot of details and stories, and a lot of insight into Torre’s perspective. It’s also roundly critical of A-Rod, and puts a lot of focus on him. The media was surprised by the contents of the book, and I had been following the Yankees for years, and never heard a lot of that before. So, I don’t buy Joe’s point. As much as I enjoyed reading the book, it killed my impression of Joe as classy and caring more about “the human aspect” of the game.
I came away thinking that Joe Torre has an extremely rigid management style/philosophy that would only work properly on a very selfless team, with a unique homogeneity of personality and an impossible combination of solid but not pre-eminent players. Basically, Joe Torre spent years looking for an organizational culture that you’ll never realistically find on the Yankees, or probably in professional sports or prestigious organizations of any kind.
That said, I think Torre was an impressive Yankees manager who deserves nearly as much credit for some of those non-championship years. The Yankees were really special and underrated in 2003, 2004 and 2006. Those teams could have done anything. And Torre worked miracles in 2007 and 2001, very emotional seasons.
Joe wrote inside information and plenty of harsh things about current players. He probably didn’t need to write it period, and certainly not while he’s still managing and those guys are still playing. In 2006, Joe gave quotes to an SI article that bashed A-Rod pretty hard. So, why is there anything weird about A-Rod not wanting to talk to Joe?
By the end of the series, they had an awkward meeting, but there was still a lot of media about it. It serves Joe Torre right.
The Yankees won the first game on Friday and the last game on Sunday, and A-Rod homered in both games. His homer on Friday basically won the game. It’s great to see A-Rod stick it to Torre like that.