Nightly Notes: Hal, Stadium Stuff

Three quick bits to cap off the night: 1. Hal Steinbrenner spoke on WFAN today and discussed a variety of topics, although he didn’t speak at length about The Yankee Years, Joe Torre’s new book that’s due out next month. 2. Also, the new Yankee Stadium continues to cause controversy. This time, however, it’s about the parks that were supposed to be built around the new Stadium. Essentially, the cost of these parks are rising significantly, which isn’t exactly helping burdened taxpayers. 3. Finally, a few months ago we heard about a concrete-testing company that apparently performed fake tests on Continue reading Nightly Notes: Hal, Stadium Stuff

Joba: I'm a Starter

Although some buffoons, such as Kevin Kernan, continue to insist that Joba Chamberlain would serve the Yankees better in the bullpen now that they have added Andy Pettitte, the team has decided to make the logically sound decision. Per Pete Abe: Joba is headed down to Tampa tomorrow and is ready to start throwing off the mound “Twenty-five fastballs, I’m feeling great,” he said. The Yankees, he said, told him in November that he would be a starting pitcher and he has been preparing for that. “It’s a relief to have it all settled,” he said. That sounds like a Continue reading Joba: I'm a Starter

Torre responds to controversy

Joe Torre spoke with Jack Curry (NY Times) about the recent controversy regarding he and Tom Verducci’s book, The Yankee Years. In Curry’s interview, Torre manages to tap dance around all of the questions and doesn’t provide much in the form of an apology (I think his comments crossed the line). Instead, in the end he manages to cast himself as a potential victim: “I’m comfortable with what I contributed to the book,” Torre said, “even though I’m probably going to get more credit or more blame than I deserve, whichever way you want to look at it.” Don’t worry Continue reading Torre responds to controversy

Calling out Torre

I’ll restate what I said on Sunday about the Torre/Verducci book:

However true it might all be, couldn’t/shouldn’t this have been saved until Torre was out of the game? It reeks of bitterness. Torre has fashioned a sterling reputation in and out of baseball as a wonderful manager of people. I wonder if that will change, at least IN the game, if his lockerroom recognizes that he’s probably taking notes for his next edition?

I’m not questioning whether the players really derisively called ARod “A-Fraud” or if it was all in jest. I really don’t care. The “Single White Female” quip is brilliant.

What troubles me most is how Torre has always (at least since he took the Yanks helm; I can’t speak to his pre-Yanks days very well, admittedly) tried to remain above the fray, the dogs, the sensationalism that followed the team. He was the shield between management and the players, between the press and the players. By putting this book out, now, while an active manager, flies in the face of everything he seemingly stood for. I think it was a major mistake to do this now.

During a quick few minutes to throw down lunch, I read Buster’s take about this situation and what was wonderful to read was Torre’s own comments brandishing David Wells after Wells’ book blew up and pulled back the curtains on the lockerroom. From Buster:

It’s Joe Torre’s book. His name is on it. He got paid for it. He had a chance to read every word, every sentence, every paragraph. He had to approve every passage.
But he has gone beyond his own code of conduct with his book. In spring 2003, David Wells and a ghostwriter published a book, “
Perfect I’m Not: Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches and Baseball,” and Torre was furious, angry that Wells had aired some of the Yankees’ dirty laundry in the pages. Wells tried to distance himself from some of the words in the book, saying they belonged to the writer, but the Yankees’ manager would not accept that. After a meeting with the pitcher, Torre said this to reporters:

“We talked to him about a lot of things today. I just sensed he was bothered by it. Not by what we said, but by how it came out. How much of it is actually what he said and how much isn’t exactly what he said, I don’t know.

“But there’s no question: It has his name on it, and he has to be accountable for it.”

That’s perfect. Torre must be accountable for every word. And any backlash.

Now it is Torre’s responsibility to be fully accountable for the words in the book that has his name on it, and he must stand behind those words.

If he hides behind Verducci and the suggestion that the ugly anecdotes aren’t his, the explanation will have echoes of “I didn’t knowingly take steroids.” If he embraces the words as his own, he also should acknowledge he has been, at the very least, extraordinarily hypocritical.

Continue reading Calling out Torre

Chase Wright Designated For Assignment

Chase Wright, one of the Yankees few left handed pitching prospects and # 26 on EJ’s top 30 prospects list, was designated for assignment to make room for Andy Pettitte on the 40 man roster (Pete Abe). The Yankees likely had to choose between Chase and Dan Giese, and felt that Giese was a better bet to help the team in 2009. Wright is a better prospect than most Yankees fans would give him credit for, as giving up four consecutive home runs to the hated Red Sox on national television is likely to skew opinions about a pitcher’s abilities. Continue reading Chase Wright Designated For Assignment

A-Rod gets that dirt off his shoulder…

From John Harper (Daily News): Alex Rodriguez told friends Monday that he is “not bothered at all” by the reports that Joe Torre apparently took some shots at him in his forthcoming book, and dismissed talk of an “A-Fraud” persona or any Derek Jeter obsession as old news that no longer applies to his standing in the Yankee clubhouse. “He laughed at the stuff because he is so beyond all of that,” one person close to A-Rod said Monday. “Personally he feels like he’s in a great space in his life and felt very comfortable last year in the clubhouse Continue reading A-Rod gets that dirt off his shoulder…

Pettitte and the Kids

The agreement reached yesterday between the Yankees and Andy Pettitte has been widely hailed as a positive move for the organization. As most commentators have noted, the Yankees needed innings at the back of the rotation due to innings limits and injury concerns, and Pettitte usually provides 200 quality frames a season. It seems like a perfect match between player and team, a no brainer move that only took so long due to haggling over price. Mike Ashmore, the Trenton Thunder blogger, stands a a voice of dissent among all the kudos being passed around over the signing: So was Continue reading Pettitte and the Kids