The Many Faces of Joe Torre

Hearing Terry Francona the other day made me think of what I always wished to hear from Joe Torre. I always wanted to hear Joe Torre just finally come out and say, “You know what? I had a great staff of players to work with and all the credit really falls on them. Its not hard when you have to make decisions between one all-star or another at the same position.” Instead, those words pretty much came out of Terry Francona’s mouth the other day (who I happen to still think is one of the best to ever do the job considering that everything is credited to player development, not purchase).

However, given what Joe Torre has done with a Dodgers team without Manny Ramirez, I think I owe him an apology. I always felt the greatness of players can overshadow the greatness of a manager, and thats the case here with Torre. That 90’s Yankees team especially had a lot of characters on it, from Knoblauch to O’Neil to Tartabull ect. Keeping all those ego’s in check must have been a much more difficult job then I think as a child, I could appreciate. Stints with guys like Ricky Henderson (not sure if that was Torre’s era), Jose Canseco (in 2000), and other great players with crazy personalities would drive a manager mad at times.

So this is my formal apology to you Joe Torre. Congratulations on one of the best managerial careers in baseball and I apologize that it took you removing yourself from the Yankees for me to appreciate it.

If you haven’t read his book yet, I strongly suggest it whether you are a Yankees fan or not. If you are looking for a book to bash the Yankees this is not the one for you. But if you want to hear some great stories about some great characters that came through the Yankees organization, as well learn some of what goes on behind the scenes with the Steinbrenners ect., you will really enjoy this book.


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