Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Torre Was Not Happy With The Makeup of The Post-2001 Teams

From Neil Best:
Beyond the blunt critiques of Alex Rodriguez and rising tensions with Brian Cashman, one theme dominates "The Yankee Years," the new book "co-authored" by Joe Torre:

That the Yankees of the former manager's final six seasons were a self-absorbed, overpaid imitation of the famously gritty bunch that brought him four rings in his first six years.

"It was just not an unselfish team," Torre says of the revelation that hit him in 2002.

"The team wasn't tough enough . . . A lot of those players are more concerned about what it looks like as opposed to getting dirty and just getting it done. Those other teams, they were ferocious."
I've pretty much felt the exact same way for a number of years now. I also think that the team had lost sight of the importance of a very good pitching staff since the 2003 season ended. That changed this off-season.

Here's some more quotes about certain Yanks who Torre apparently didn't like:

First Jason Giambi:
"They wanted Jason," Torre says. "George [Steinbrenner] really liked the big bopper. I was outvoted, which was fine."
Then some others:
Kevin Brown breaks his pitching hand punching a concrete pillar. "That's the most -- selfish thing I've ever seen anybody do!" Torre screams at him.

Randy Johnson? "The biggest surprise to me was how Randy Johnson could get rattled."

Carl Pavano? "The players all hated him. It was no secret."
Not many Yankees fans like these guys either, but then again, they didn't wrote a book about it. Still, I'm not angered by any of this --- Sorry guys. But with that said, that doesn't mean that I don't think Torre is wrong for airing his dirty laundry out in the public, I'm just not personally upset by it.


Mateo said...

If Torre still skippered the Yanks, I'd be concerned. As it stands, I could care less. In my eyes, Torre is still a Yankee legend.

Greg Cohen said...

I agree on all counts.

Giuseppe Franco said...

See, I was never sold on Torre, sure he did a great job but with his prior managerial skills I think he got way too much credit. I don't think he is a good manager (but thats just me). Also, please don't tell me how Torre brought The Dodgers to the playoffs. I have one word for that, Manny. That being said, how do you rip the Giambino man!

Greg Cohen said...


I'm not going to argue with anything you're saying. What I will say is that many people who don't want to give him credit (not necessarily you) are the same people who want to blame him for not winning a ring from '01-'07. If you blame him for not winning, then he deserves credit when he does win. And if it's only the players who get credit when they win, then they deserve total blame for when they lose.

Anonymous said...

Torre was the one who wanted the Dodgers to sign Andruw Jones what a mess that was. I'm sure Torre wanted guys to on the Yankees that did not work out but wont mention that on the book.

Also this proves that the Yankees organization deserve more credit for building the championship team and Torre just profited from it.

Anonymous said...

Say what you may about him as a person the Yankees could of have had Curt Schilling back then and could of won the World Series but instead they went after Brown and Vazquez. Colon probably would have helped for a year or two as well. They were the biggest free agent pitchers at the time if I remember correctly.

Anonymous said...

I'm what many of you will call a Torre supporter, so I haven't seen much wrong about what he has 'written.' However, is it just me that doesn't understand that selfish comment towards Kevin Brown? I don't see how it was selfish for him to punch his hand into the wall. It's not like he was purposely trying to injure himself, he got caught in the heat of emotion and try to let his anger out. Maybe it's just me though.

Giuseppe Franco said...

Gre, I see what you are saying, but the way I see it was Torre really didn't have to do much in those dynasty years. Once those teams went from great to good and he actually had to manage, I felt he had no idea how to use his bullpen, put together lineups that made me scratch my head.

Greg Cohen said...

That's fine, although each of those teams did make the post season, all won over 94 games... here are the records for the post 2001 Yankees under Torre:

2007: 94-68 (.580)
2006: 97-65 (.599)
2005: 95-67 (.586)
2004: 101-61 (.623)
2003: 101-61 (.623)
2002: 103-58 (.640)

Those are great records, it's not like those teams didn't have good years. I just don't think they were built for October, especially not after 2003 when the organization forgot about pitching. I find it hard to consider those seasons to be poor managerial jobs by Torre.

Now if you want to blame him for the October failures, that's fine, but then you must give him credit for at least getting them there, and whatever successes he had with the dynasty teams.

Joe said...

I have never given credit to a manager for winning or losing games, or winning or losing seasons. As it was proven by Manny this season, a player does all of that. Also proven by how a sub .500 manager in close to 2000 games can all of a sudden become a 100 game win a season manager, the guy didn't read a book or invent the wheel baseball managing wise, he inherited a good team.

That being said, he knows how much people love him in this town, just take the credit despite how deserving he actually may be about it. Instead, nope, gotta come out with a book bashing the old club making himself bigger than the team, turning not obviously all, but certainly some of the fans he still had in this town.

Greg Cohen said...

I'm not saying releasing this book was a wise move. It most likely will turn out to be a bad move - sure looks like one at this point.

I'm just not too upset by it, and really want to read the book myself before coming to any conclusions.

As for Joe, I think he did a very good job as Yankees manager. I give managers a little more credit than you do. I also do believe managers and coaches evolve during their careers.