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The Yankee Years Paperback – March 9, 2010
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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
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.
Tom Verducci is the senior baseball writer for Sports Illustrated and SportsIllustrated.com, and a baseball analyst for the MLB Network. He coauthored Joe Torre’s first book, Chasing the Dream, and has also published an anthology of his work from Sports Illustrated, titled Inside Baseball: The Best of Tom Verducci.
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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.
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