Yeah, it's Girardi's club -- remember him? For the last week, it's only seemed as if Joe Torre were in charge again. And on tonight's Larry King Live program, Torre didn't back off from 'The Yankee Years' ' critical portrayals of Alex Rodriguez, George Steinbrenner, and Brian Cashman, though Torre didn't give too convincing a reason as to why this book had to be written now -- especially since he took money and bitterness off the table.
Now, Torre believes that he and A-Rod would be exchanging hugs if they ran into one another -- and that it wouldn't be forced. Oh, and Joe feels the Dodgers can get Manny back. For the moment, that seems more plausible than a heartfelt Joe-Alex embrace.
Torre said he wanted to tell it like it was, and let people know about those 12 years. Okay, maybe no one needs a better explanation than that. But if, as Torre said, his intention was to partly show the players not as robots but as having a human heartbeat, then can't Torre at least be accused of showing his human nature?
Can't it be said that his hard feelings -- built up over 12 "wonderful'' years -- had at least a little to do with telling his tale as he did now? I don't think that's an unfair assumption. But now, Torre has exposed himself not just to honest criticism, but to some crazy shots, as John Harper mentioned so well in his Friday column -- bullets from cartoon characters like Dave Wells, who now have some license to unload anything at will. That's what this book has allowed.
Let's face it, the current ownership of this ballclub was probably not going to honor Joe with a day anytime soon (at least until an Old-Timer's Day after his managing career ended), so who's to say the timing was so wrong on this book? 'The Yankee Years' was going to be written sooner or later, with or without Joe Torre. Wouldn't you rather hear it from him, just as you'd also like to hear ownership and management's versions?
For instance, could someone positively refute the timing of Torre's request for a two-year extension? Was it mentioned beforehand, as Torre said, or did Cashman hear that request for the first time at the elevator bank in Tampa?
There's more to come, one would assume. It's just hard to tell what round we're in.