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The Yankee Years Hardcover – February 3, 2009
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“One of the best books about baseball ever written.”—New York Daily News
"An insightful and non-hagiographic look at a legendary manager and team during one of baseball's most transformational eras."--Boston Globe
"The consummate insider's view of what may be the last great dynasty in baseball history."--Los Angeles Times
"An appealing portrait of a likable, hard-working man. One closes the book with a high regard for Mr. Torre, not least as a manager."--Wall Street Journal
"A lively chronicle. . . . What this book does . . . very persuasively is chart the rise and fall of one of baseball's great dynasties, while showing the care and feeding it took to bring the city of New York four championships in five years." —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"A capacious fresh account of [Torre’s] great run in the Bronx.... Verducci has range and ease; he's a shortstop on the page." —The New Yorker
"Compelling. . . . A hybrid of insider reporting [and] autobiography." —The Christian Science Monitor
“Fascinating reading.”—The New York Times Book Review
“[Filled with] many insights, some about human nature, many about the great American game.” —Bloomberg News
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Joe Torre played for the Braves, the Cardinals, and the Mets before managing all three teams. From 1996 to 2007, Torre managed the New York Yankees. He is currently the manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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 .
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