Spring Deals Automotive HPC Children of Blood and Bone New-season heels nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Weekly One GNO for Samsung S9 Starting at $39.99 Grocery Handmade Personalized Jewelry Home and Garden Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon MMM MMM MMM  Echo Fire tablets: Designed for entertainment Kindle Paperwhite AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Shop now TG18PP_gno

The Yankee Years
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:$17.98+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on August 21, 2013
I was so excited to get this book, especially after all the reviews from the nation's top book reviewers which promised that it was one of the best books about baseball...an insightful look at a legendary manager...an appealing portrait of a likable, hard-working man...a lively chronicle...compelling... fascinating reading...and Joe Torre was billed as the author. What an utter disappointment and loss of credibility those book reviewers have suffered in my opinion.
This book is appallingly bad. It was not written by Joe Torre. Mr. Verducci adds quotes from him from time to time but they are not well integrated with the material, but only seem to have been added because Mr. Torre's name is on the book. Mr. Verducci doesn't write particularly well, although he goes on and on and on. The entire 512 pages are more like reading sports news clips patched together without much thought beyond catchy chapter titles. There is no real theme to the book, no insight or chronicle, much less an appealing portrait, of Mr. Torre. I know no more about him after having read this than I knew before...and I have to admit that the choice of quotes does nothing to give a favorable impression of Mr. Torre. I've always had a sense of him as thoughtful and wise but this book certainly didn't paint him as either...but I suspect that's the result of sticking in a quote on a topic instead of actually exploring the issues being discussed. The book was far from compelling--I only finished it--and it was the hardest read I've ever had--because I couldn't believe that all those reviewers had it so wrong. I kept hoping that the next page would bring a glimmer of what they promised but it never did. One of the chapters is titled "Broken Trust" and frankly, that's how I feel about this book--the reviewers, the publisher (Doubleday), Mr. Torre and Mr. Verducci have all broken the trust with readers. I hope they are at least enjoying some laughs on the way to the bank.
11 comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on October 19, 2016
My husband and I got the audiotape and listed to it on our roadtrip from Texas to California. (Yah, long trip!)
Despite my disdain for sports in general, I really enjoyed listening to this audio book.
It was super interesting and had a lot of history and tidbits on the players that makes you feel like you're part of the team.

We enjoyed it so much that we ended up buying it a gift for my brother and he loved it too .
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on July 25, 2012
I'm a long time MLB NY Yankees fan. I wanted to learn more about Joe Torre and the years he managed the Yankees.

The writer and researcher Tom Verducci with Joe Torre's input have wrote a good book about Joe Torre and the twelve years with the NY Yankees. The book has some GREAT color pictures! The book read well. A few parts were a little dry in regards to some the exact play by play by players I never heard of. However,95% of the book was good.

We see Joe Torre hired as the manager of the NY Yankees. He was the owner George Steinbrenner's forth choice. Joe had a below average managing record with no WS experience. The media and fans called him "clueless Joe" as they believed he had no idea of how to win the World Series.

What Joe had was many great players. Finally he had the "big horses... super stars" to be a winner.

We see Joe's management style of honesty,openness and dignity. He wanted to treat all his players and upper management with honesty. He preferred face to face explanations rather than behind someones back. Unfortunately some of the players and management did things behind his back and made deals. We see George Steinbrenner when he was younger as a micro manager using his lieutenants to deliver the bad news and do roundabouts behind Torre's back. Lots of stabbing in the back. Steinbrenner tried to rule by threats and intimidation. Torre had non of it and stood up to him and did not let George intimidate him. Of course there were things Joe had no control of as George had the money to effect trades ect. We see Cashman as the GM working with George and Joe.

After three WS series wins, and spending much much more than any other baseball club Steinbrenner expected the Yankees to win every year. Any thing less was not acceptable. We see the mistakes of getting expensive players who contributed very little to the Yankees and were gone the next year. The core Yankees got older and older and the pitching farm system stunk. Upper management spend millions and millions on throw away bad pitchers. The Yankees did have a few great pitchers and a great closer but they were getting older and less reliable.

Also we see the TV revenue distributed to all the ball clubs helping to partially level the spending field. Also Cleveland who did not have big money to compete with the Yankees developed intelligence software technology to have all baseball players stats available to them. This way they could go after a hidden gem that Yankee scouts knew nothing about.We see the Yankees throwing away millions of dollars on players that did not work out rather than using information gathering technology. Also teams like the Indians would sign 15 Latin country players for a tiny $10,000 bonus a piece. Even if one of them developed into a good player they were well ahead.

INMO the woes of the Yankees after Torres three WSW wins were a large part due to upper managements style of finding players...using the old system of throwing money around vs the newer system of info technology to find hidden gem players. Plus the expensive players getting older and less reliable did not help.

We see Joe getting his forth WS win but the Yankees having problems. Steinbrenner is older and not doing well physically and mentally. He delegates a team of "the voices" to run the Yankees as he is only a shell of his former self. After his contract is over, Joe asks "the voices" and Steinbrenner "Do you want me to manage next year."Joe tells GM Cashman his plan for a two year contract with major give backs in the second year if he doesn't do well. Cashman is supposed to present this to "the voices". He does not and stabs Torre in the back. Joe says no to a one year $5 Million contract as he did not want to be under the micro managing thumb of "the voices" and a lame duck one term manager who would be threatened to be fired all the time.

Joe leaves the Yankees thanking George for the opportunity to manage the Yankees and all the good years he had.

The book had kind of a sad ending with Torre being stabbed in the back by unsupportive GM Cashman and the unappreciative "the voices". A good book, learning about the Yankees in the Torre years through Joe Torre's eyes. 4 stars
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on January 25, 2012
Books can e written on baseball at many different levels, from a listing of the rules and explaining each one to the philosophy behind the game and how it came to be called "America's Game." The book by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci falls closely behind "The Philosophy o Baseball", it is not a review of Torre, his wins and losses nor is it really a study of his philosophy on managing a ball club; it is more a study of clubhouse politics and beliefs and the personalities involved. Torre must have talked to Verducci and given him many insights into the players and their foibles and abilities but he must also have done the same for some of the managers and in particular for the major owner, George Steinbrenner. Torre lived and managed the Yankees through three major turning points of what baseball meant and to whom it was given to be great enough for them to affect baseball. These turning points were the influence of drugs, particularly the anabolic steroids, but so many players it would take many pages to list them all. McGuire's and Sosa's challenging run to determine who would hit the greatest number of home runs in a season fascinated so many fans the club owners turned a deaf ear to the hints of steroid use and abuse as they watched the fans money roll in.
The second turning point came with the Red Sox and their study of the statistics for the players, getting away from the reliance on scouting reports and batting averages, or, for pitchers, on earned run average, instead of pitches tossed per game. The third change was the emphasis by the players themselves on their statistic, how this should affect their pay and how high this pay shpuld go depending on these same statistics.This third turning point destroyed the Yankees since their greatness was founded on club unity; if the first man could not do what was needed the next man would step up and take his place. Torre was not a good enough manager to maintain this philosophy among his players, he inherited a club a club forged in this manner but as the older players succumbed to age and retirement the new players coming in were slaves to their belief in their statistics and could not be weaned from the one system to the older and better one, nor was Torre equipped to manage correctly under the new one developing. In the book Torre always spoke of trust between management and the players, methinks he did protest too much and it is only his word about trust, no one to verify it, that exists. He did speak of many players he managed but I failed to see where he showed too much trust in any of them. But the book was interesting anyhow, and George Steinbrenner was well defined. He supposedly trusted Brian Cashman but was devastated when Cashman kept his mouth closed when Torre was let go.Where was the trust? Did it exist with anyone?
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
HALL OF FAMEon February 24, 2009
At first glance it seemed strange that when "Sports Illustrated" published an excerpt from this book in a recent issue that it was the final chapter of "The Yankee Years." But now that I have read the book it makes sense because from start to finish the punchline that the Yankees let Joe Torre walk away from the job of managing the team pretty much overshadows everything that happens. It is like there is a subliminal message behind every success Torre had on the field that whispers to the reader "Can you believe they would ever fire this guy?" I started rooting for the New York Yankees in 1965, and for those of you without an encyclopedic recollection of the history of the team that was the year they stopped winning World Championships until George Steinbrenner bought the team from CBS and started playing his own peculiar brand of money ball. When Torre was hired to manage the Yankees I did not think it was necessarily a bad move, but I certainly did not think it was a great move. Any doubt that it was the right man in the right place at the right time, was removed years ago and "The Yankee Years" only confirms what seems obvious to everybody in baseball. It also reinforces the idea that the aforementioned punchline is not even remotely funny.

Joe Torre's name comes before Tom Verducci's and there is no doubt as to which of them has the greater cachet (I was always suprised that he was not the first manager that McFarlane Toys put out as an action figure in their quest to have at least one Yankee in each and every series). But "The Yankee Years" is much more Verducci's book; he is the one telling the story and making the arguments, with Torre providing period commentary. There is a sense in which the book reads like a documentary, and you can imagine the clips of Torre or any of the players and other baseball people quoted running. In fact, there are portions of the book in which Torre's voice disappears, and that brings into focus the other supporting voices in the story. Representing the "Before" and "After" perspectives are Yankees pitchers David Cone and Mike Mussina, with the attendant irony being that unlike the old Charles Atlas ads, the "Before" period for the Yankeees is the better one where they were winning four championship in five years.

As the years go by and Scott Brosius, Paul O'Neill, Tino Martinez and Bernie Williams are repalced by Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, and Johnny Damon the reader is repeatedly reminded that these new players have not produced titles like their predecessors (I would be willing to bet that Brosius, O'Neill and Martinez are mentioned more often in the book after they had retired or left the Yankees than when they played for Torre, and with each mention they take another step towards being on the fabled plateau of Ruth, Gehrig and DiMaggio). It is not privileged as such, but for me the decision not to resign Andy Pettite is the line of demarcation and it has been all downhill for the Yankees since that point. That being said, despite Torre's refusal to blow his own horn when he speaks in his own voice in this book, Verducci makes an excellent case for Torre's Hall of Fame credentials as a manager, not just because of the seasons with the rings, but with the results he got with teams that should not have made the playoffs. For Steinbrenner and Yankees fans a year without a World Series title is an empty cup even if it is otherwise filled almost to the brim. This is presented as the stark reality of the New York Yankees, and although there is an obvious impulse to think it is not fair, I am reminder that in life nobody promises fair and then you die.

The villain in the piece ends up being Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, in part because George Steinbrenner's deteriorating health becomes an abrogation of the Boss's power. A strong undercurrent of the book is Verducci's indictment of Cashman as the GM, specifically in comparison to a couple of his counterparts, Oakland's Billy Beane and Boston's Theo Epstein. "The Yankees Years" certainly chronicles all of the bad moves Torre has made on the field, but on balance the good moves certainly outweigh. However, by the end you are hard pressed to use up all of the fingers on one hand trying to count the good moves Cashman made as GM, especially given the growing litany of overpriced broken down pitchers the Yankees have signed this century. In a lesser battle, now rendered irrelevant because of his admitting using steroids, A-Rod is seen as not even playing the same ballpark as Derek Jeter, and if there is a new indication of steroid use as a result of this book it is going to tar any player that demands his own trainer. It is unfortunate that Rodriguez's admission has become the unwritten coda to this book, but it should have been the final masterstroke of irony, namely that last season for the first time since before Torre took the helm, the Yankees did not make the playoffs, while Torre's new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, did make it to the postseason. Yankees fans might not want to admit it, but it makes for a better punchline.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on January 26, 2018
This is a review specific to the Audio Version (Audio CD). This book is so well written and ingenious, and so worthwhile to read. I have both the hardcover and the Audio CD. Why the publishers chose this voice over person to read the book, I will never know. He takes a great book and makes it boring to listen to. His monotone voice and seeming lack of any interest, let alone passion, for baseball and the sporting world makes him such a poor choice for the task. If you are in the fence about purchasing the book - definitely get it! Just have someone else read it to you if you can’t read the written word yourself.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on August 6, 2009
After completing reading The Yankee Years (Kindle Edition), I have to say I was left disappointed. While there are several interesting, fun, or insightful anecdotes about the Yankees organization, the majority of the book is spoiled by an endless stream of statistics, constant reiteration, and overall, juvenile writing.

I picked up this book to read the behind-the-scenes stories and going-ons of the Yankee organization. Instead, I got a fairly reiterative summary of the post-seasons under Joe Torre. Though there were some stories about things going on in the club house, or the front office, much of the book read as post-game summaries.

Overall, I'd say I was disappointed by the book. Frankly, I felt that little, if any, of the book was actually written by Torre; instead he seems to have merely contributed a good portion of the quotes in the book. For those of us who remember "The Yankee Years" under Torre, there is only a handful of interesting additions and insight in this book that we didn't experience first hand, while watching the games. And for those little gems of story telling, that you wouldn't get unless you were in the clubhouse, I wouldn't say it is worth slogging through awkward sentence structure, repetitive statistics, and bland writing in the rest of the book to get to them.

I'd skip this one.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on May 13, 2009
First, Joe Torre put his name on this book and may have approved of the material but it reads more like an analysis of Joe's tenure with the Yankees as written by Tom Verducci--with interviews by Joe included. In fact a few coaches, notably Mike Borzello and Larry Bowa, and pitchers David Cone and Mike Mussina, seem to be interviewed almost as much as Joe. So, yes, the title is a bit misleading. Once past that, this is a great book. It details how character was the factor that separated the World champs of 96, 98-00 and the under-achieving teams from 2002 until the end for Joe. While A-Rod comes across as a guy who "just doesn't get it," Carl Pavano is the real butt of jokes in the book, as he is painted as a player who took every excuse possible not to play and the rest of the team knew it. He also shows how Yankee execs stopped signing the character guys and started bringing in many bad-fits. Surprisingly Red Sox fans may like this book, especially the second half as Joe candidly explains how the Red Sox finally figured out how to build a team and surpassed the Yankees to win two titles. In the end, Joe is all class, even when he is critical in the book, and should make Yankee fans wish he were still there.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on March 23, 2009
"The Yankee Years" was an informative and enjoyable read about the behind the scenes soap opera that is the New York Yankees. You find out about the sensible and nonsensical backroom decisions made by the Yankee higher ups, some of whom have zero qualifications for running a multi billion dollar sports fanchise except they are lucky enough have family or friendly connections.The Yankees are run like one giant dysfunctional family.

It is also an interesting look into how the New York scene devastates some great fielders and pitchers who just can't stand up to the pressures and demands that come with playing in The Big Apple and how other players feed off of those same pressures and demands.

It is astounding how Joe Torre physically and mentally lived through this experience to tell about it from such and inside perspective. But, he did have a good run.

As an avid baseball fan, born and raised near Yankee Stadium, I adore the Yankees, but until the decision makers get their act together and make decisions for the betterment of the team, I'm afraid they won't see a pennant for a long time.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on July 28, 2009
A Red Sox fan my entire life, I resisted this title at first for obvious reasons. My respect for Joe Torre as a manager and great 'baseball man' eventually changed my mind and I was delighted to find this an excellent, first-hand account of the game. While the press coverage of this book only seemed to talk about his relationship with Steinbrenner, A-rod, and steroids - thankfully Torre and Verducci gave these topics their due but focused on Torre's coaching insights.

Even though re-hashing the Yankees' titles in the 90's and their consistent defeat of the Red Sox in several playoff series was difficult to read, Torre's anecdotes and stories about key games, the Sox rivalry, and the central personalities on both sides truly make you feel like you're there re-living every moment of these amazing baseball moments. By the end of the book, the reader not only gains an appreciation for Joe Torre's career as a manager with the Yankees, but also has a greater understanding of the transition American baseball has experienced in the last decade - the careful balance between individual all-stars and the team concept; performance-enhancing drugs and their legacy; the evolution of statistics and the emergence of sabermetrics' role in scouting and the assessment of player talent; and the media's tremendous influence on fans' perception of individuals, teams, and the league itself.

While my favorite moment was Torre's insider account of the 2004 ALCS (again, for obvious reasons), the entire book was as captivating as his unique insight into those seven games. The Yankee Years is a must-read for any baseball fan, be they for the Yankees, the Red Sox, or any other team.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse