Results tagged ‘ Joe Torre ’
Andy Pettitte and Mark Teixeira will be taking the field for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, as confirmed by MLB.com last night.
The tournament will reunite Pettitte with former manager Joe Torre, who has signed on to fill out the lineup cards for the United States entry. The 40-year-old Pettitte will be tuning up after a truncated season in which he went 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 12 starts.
Meanwhile, the Classic schedule means that Teixeira will be getting into game mode a little bit earlier. Given his history of slow regular season starts, perhaps this is a new way of trying to avoid those April struggles.
Robinson Cano (Dominican Republic) and Francisco Cervelli (Italy) have also been rumored to be participating in the Classic, with full rosters slated to be announced on Thursday on MLB Network.
In case you’re wondering, the Yankees did not have to approve participation for their players. Teams do not have the ability to stop players from taking part in the Classic unless there is a pre-existing injury.
CHICAGO – Derek Jeter didn’t wait long to put Eddie Murray in his rear-view mirror, slugging a leadoff home run on Tuesday to mark his 3,256th career hit.
The blast off White Sox starter Francisco Liriano gave Jeter sole possession of 11th place on baseball’s all-time hits list. Next up is Willie Mays, with 3,283.
The home run was Jeter’s 252nd, which places him in some familiar company. Joe Torre and Bobby Murcer are among the Major Leaguers who retired with 252 career blasts.
Alex Rodriguez jogged behind the cage during batting practice Sunday and approached Joe Torre, who playfully put his fists up and took a few steps back before shaking hands. An ESPN camera was there to document the whole exchange, which lasted less than a minute.
OH, DOCTOR: The Yankees contingent could not avoid questions about the American League’s starting pitcher, Roy Halladay — not after the Blue Jays ace told reporters that he believes it’s about a 50-50 chance that he will be traded in-season.
Derek Jeter said that he isn’t the type of person who would go out of his way to recruit someone like Halladay, especially in the middle of the season, when any move would mean the Yankees would have to dump a player off their roster. But Jeter said he was relishing not having to face Halladay and having him on his side for a change.
“You see what he’s done to us,” Jeter said. “That’s pretty much all you’ve got to say.
I’ve said it time and time again. He’s the best pitcher in the league.”
Mark Teixeira lauded Halladay as a competitor and hard worker. He said that even if the Yankees don’t wind up with Halladay in pinstripes, the hope is that the right-hander would be traded out of the American League East, and preferably to the National League.
“Every winter, I look at the free agent list of pitchers and I hope
that every one of those pitchers pitches in the opposite league,” Teixeira said. “That’s
just the way it is. This division is so stacked as it is, you don’t
want any extra players coming into it.”
UP IN THE AIR: Jeter, Rivera and Teixeira
shared a charter flight here Sunday from the West Coast after the loss
to the Angels. Teixeira said that he spent a great amount of the flight
talking baseball with Rivera — Yankee dynasty edition, as Rivera
killed time by regaling his new teammate with some of the stories from
the 1996-2000 dynasty era.
“I got to talk with Mo a lot,” Teixeira said. “We just talked about New
York and how special it was when they were winning. The All-Star Game
is kind of old hat for these guys – they’ve done it so much that it’s
just, ‘Hey, it’s July, let’s go to the All-Star Game!’”
“It was a nice time,” Rivera added. “I was sharing how we did it in
those years and what we accomplished. Tex is a tremendous ballplayer.
We haven’t had a first baseman like that in a long time, since Tino
HEY, BUDDY: Jeter said that he is looking forward to catching up with Joe Torre, who will be in uniform as a coach for the National League. Torre still keeps up with Jeter and the Yankees, and they communicate frequently and check in by phone every once in a while. They haven’t met in person since the winter in New York.
“It’ll be awkward, probably, to see him,” Jeter said.
PRINCE ALBERT’S SHOW: The pace here in St. Louis will be a lot less hectic for Jeter and Rivera than it was last year in New York, when they were being shuttled all around town. That’s part of the benefit and problem of having the All-Star Game in your home city. Now, the Yankees can enjoy being guests and not hosts this week.
“You definitely enjoy it,” Jeter said. “Last year was unbelievable, the way the fans treated not
just me, but the Yankees players in general during those few days. During
the game was really something. Last year was more of a celebration of Yankee Stadium than
anything. This year it seems like it’s almost a celebration of Albert.”
“The Yankee Years” is sitting on my coffee table right now, neighbored by a Frank Sinatra retrospective and the authorized history of the Ford Mustang. (Alas, I haven’t found Cosmo Kramer’s coffee table book on coffee tables.)
I said that I’d reserve judgment on Joe Torre’s book until I had a chance to crack its spine. Well, here it is:
This book didn’t need to be written.
That said, I’m glad it was.
As someone who was around the clubhouse the last year of Torre’s tenure, it’s amazing to read what was going on behind the closed doors – information that just wasn’t available to reporters and could only be known by the people who were actually involved in the day-to-day operations. Torre keeps talking about how this book will be a piece of history – I’d say it already is.
It’s not the salacious tell-all some people want you to believe it is. It’s a baseball book by an excellent writer in Verducci, with Torre speaking up as the main source – a man uniquely qualified to comment on the Yankees during that 12 year period, because he lived it.
If you cared about the Yankees from 1996 through 2007 – rooted for them
in the World Series, bought tickets to Yankee Stadium, wore an
interlocking ‘NY’ cap around town – it’s only natural to want to know
what actually happened. This book gives you a taste.
Brian Cashman’s charity discussion out in Pleasantville, N.Y. for Ed Randall’s ‘Bat for the Cure‘ ran long tonight, but if you were as passionate about the Yankees as most of the audience seemed to be, it probably wasn’t a big deal. Just about the only topic Cash wouldn’t discuss was Joe Torre’s book, but there was plenty to go around. Some of the highlights to chew on:
Manny to the Yankees — officially dead: The Yankees are done with their big spending and have no room left to pursue Manny Ramirez. Sorry, folks, but right now the Yankees are trying to sign more guys like Angel Berroa. The Yankees payroll will be reduced in ’09 and Manny’s bat isn’t going to change that.
“Ultimately, we’ve made our decision,” Cashman said. “We chose to put that money into Mark Teixeira to play first base. I do hear rumblings about people actually expect us to get in on Manny. That’s not going to happen. We respect his abilities, there’s no doubt about it, but we’re now in the non-roster invite mode.”
Cashman knows the Yankees have been anointed the Hot Stove champs. It doesn’t mean anything: “I don’t care about headlines in December or January. What ultimately translates is getting enough W’s to be the last team standing.”
Career paths: Cashman wasn’t one of those kids who lies awake at night dreaming of being the Yankees GM. Actually, out in Kentucky, young Cash grew up a Dodgers fan and a Yankee hater. In fact, when Bob Watson gave up the GM post in ’98, Cashman first begged him to stay. Then he asked George Steinbrenner not to give him a contract, instead operating on a handshake agreement so Cashman could be easily dismissed if it didn’t work out.
Tough crowd: Cashman is very wary of the Rays, of whom he said has seen the talent coming for years. On the traditional 20 to 80 scouting scale (50 being an average big leaguer), Cashman said too many of Tampa Bay’s young prospects are coming in around 80. Such is the advantage of smart drafting and terrible in-season results.
But the Yankees have some names Cashman is excited about — he thinks the ’06 crop of Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, Zach McAllister, Dellin Betances and Dave Robertson could go down as an all-time great one. The Yankees are still top-heavy in pitching prospects and would love to develop more big bats, but most of the really promising position players are at the A-ball level and below.
What if: Yes, the four-year, $40 million deal to Carl Pavano was a bust. But Cashman said Pavano turned down even more money from the Tigers, Mariners and Orioles. The Red Sox were also hot on Pavano.
Flight cancelled: Cashman almost flew to Baltimore from Houston to meet with A.J. Burnett after his meeting with Andy Pettitte in December. It turned out not to be necessary – things had progressed far enough with Burnett that the Yankees were confident it’d get done.
Will the Melk-man deliver?: As of right now, it’s Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner for center field. Cashman believes Melky is a better player than he showed in ’08 and will be out to prove that. But here’s an ominous warning: “The ones that are good enough will find a way. The ones that aren’t good enough will find excuses.” Cash compared Gardner to “Juan Pierre, who takes a walk.”
Better days?: Cashman said he’s not a big souvenir guy, but one of the things he’s kept was the lineup card from his first win as Yankees GM – April 5, 1998 at Oakland. Cash was actually in Oakland the day earlier, but Steinbrenner had called him back to New York in a fit after the Yankees started the year 0-3. They won 125 games.
The inscription on the lineup card from Joe Torre reads: “Crash – the first of many.” That’s not a typo. The nickname ‘Crash’ stuck to Cashman in his younger, wilder days.
Driving Mr. Steinbrenner: Cash told a great story about his early days back in the Yankees organization, when George Steinbrenner’s personal drivers were all out shuttling around dignitaries or guests. Cashman got stuck with the assignment and found himself on the FDR Drive with the Boss, who wanted to get a quick haircut before flying to Tampa out of Teterboro.
Long story short, Cash tried to get cute with a shortcut and wound up hearing a full-on assault of the 1980s Steinbrenner in his right ear for the whole rest of the trip. Steinbrenner actually threatened at one point to “just take the subway.” He got the haircut with Cashman but found a different driver to take him across to New Jersey.
Joe Torre’s book comes out today, with the former Yankees manager touring the tri-state area on a media blitz to promote “The Yankee Years.” We’ve all seen and heard so much about this book already, and I’m looking forward to finally getting a copy in my hands and reading it cover to cover to accurately judge it.
What about you? Is this the type of thing that you’ll pick up on the first day, or are you content to wait it out? I’ve seen on some of the blogs that diehard Yankees fans are vowing not to pay for the book, and plan to read it from their local libraries. Others still are sick of all this “he-said, he-said” stuff and are just ready to see the boys on the field in Tampa.
There’s something to be said for that, as I look out the window and see yet another coating of snow to be cleared from my car. But before we can get to sunny Florida, there are a few more hurdles – and one is the Torre book. Hey, it could be worse. We could be talking about medical waste in Brian McNamee’s basement.
I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble at 555 Fifth Ave. this afternoon at 12:30 p.m. to see what – if anything – the skipper has to say. Then later it’s off to Pleasantville (New York, not the movie) to check in with Brian Cashman. Busy day.
By the way, if you’re in the camp that won’t read Torre’s text — or you just want a refreshing change of pace — I have a suggestion for you.
Jane Heller was nice enough to send me a copy of her just-released book, “Confessions of a She-Fan,” and many of you would relate. It’s a look at the ’07 season through the eyes of an extremely passionate die-hard fan, the kind that live and die with every win and loss. Know anybody like that?
I’m back after a four-day respite – thanks to Anthony DiComo for minding the store while I jetted down to Florida and New Orleans for a quick getaway.
With the Super Bowl in the books, this upcoming week is chock full of baseball events in and around the tri-state area. If you’re interested in telling Joe Torre what you think about his Yankees past, there are opportunities – if you want to hear Brian Cashman talk about the Yankees future, there’s that too.
Here’s a lineup card of what we’ll be looking out for:
Thurman Munson Awards Dinner
Honoring Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran and the ’69 Mets, to benefit AHRC-NYC.
Tuesday, Grand Hyatt New York, 7 p.m.
An Evening with Brian Cashman
Hosted by Ed Randall to benefit Bat for the Cure prostate cancer awareness.
Tuesday, Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, N.Y., 7 p.m.
Joe Torre book signings
Tuesday: Barnes & Noble, 555 Fifth Avenue, New York City, 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, Little Falls, N.J., 7 p.m.
Wednesday: Borders Books, 100 Broadway. New York City, 1 p.m.
Wednesday: Bookends, 232 East Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood, N.J., 7 p.m.
Oh, just another day in paradise. When people ask, “What do you do during the offseason?”, my response is almost always that the Yankees don’t have an offseason. Sometimes the winter is more intense than the summer.
The Yankees completed one important piece of business on Monday, signing Andy Pettitte to a one-year, $5.5 million contract with multiple incentive levels. Obviously this is a huge pay cut from the guaranteed $16 million Pettitte made in ’07 and ’08, but this was as high as the Yankees were going to go.
Pettitte knew that it was time to make a decision, and $5.5 million — with the chance to make up to $12 million in incentives — sure beats $0 for sitting at home. With the addition of Pettitte to the 40-man roster, Chase Wright was designated for assignment.
One other tidbit: Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Hideki Matsui are all on track for now.
Now, on to the Joe Torre business, which is sending us all back in our own little time machines. Someone was asking me about my taxes and I actually slipped up and wrote the wrong year … and not even that usual January mistake, I fouled up two years. Seems like this book has us more focused on the ’07 Yankees than the current version.
A-Rod is supposedly laughing off the ‘A-Fraud’ stuff — and look, if you didn’t already know that Alex had some difficulty keeping a low profile, you weren’t paying attention. Some things haven’t changed — by the way, has anyone heard anything about Madonna lately?
Brian Cashman thinks the Yankees might rally around each other as a result of this latest controversy. Hey, you know this team. If it wasn’t this going into the spring, it’d probably be something else.
I want to reserve judgment on this book until I actually hold it in my hands, and based on what I’ve pieced together from excerpts floating around the Internet, that seems like the proper course of action. It seems that there will be a lot more context to base the most salacious parts on when ‘The Yankee Years’ is consumed in its entirety.
Joe Torre has some less-than-complimentary things to say about the Yankees in his upcoming book, ‘The Yankee Years,’ for which he collaborates with Tom Verducci.
As you’d imagine, the tabloids are having a field day with some of the leaked text:
New York Post: In an explosive new book called “The Yankee Years,” Torre gets most personal in his attacks against Alex Rodriguez, who he says was called “A-Fraud” by his teammates after he developed a “Single White Female”-like obsession with team captain Derek Jeter and asked for a personal clubhouse assistant to run errands for him.
New York Daily News: In “The Yankee Years,” due to be released on Feb. 3, Torre describes
general manager Brian Cashman as a less than supportive ally who
betrayed him on several fronts, and says that his star player, Alex
Rodriguez, was often referred to by his teammates as “A-Fraud” and was
obsessed with his perceived rival, shortstop Derek Jeter.
It’s only fair to note that the book also recounts the good times too. Here’s what Random House notes in a brief summary posted on their Web site:
“The Yankee Years chronicles the amazing stories
on the diamond. The stirring comeback in the 1996 World Series against
the heavily favored Braves. The wonder of 1998, when Torre led the
Yanks to the most wins in Major League history. The draining and
emotional drama of the 2001 World Series. The incredible twists and
turns of the epic Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship
Series against the Red Sox, in which two teams who truly despised each
other battled pitch by pitch until the stunning extra-inning home run.“
So we’ll reserve judgment until we see the complete book, but certainly some of Torre’s claims will create a ripple effect through the organization. Do some of these comments change how you view Torre?