Surely you're already familiar with some of the juicier tidbits in the upcoming guaranteed bestseller by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci, The Yankee Years.
Torre, the longtime Yankees manager, has pulled off the neat trick of earning an author’s credit on a book written by someone else in the third person. The Dodgers’ skipper reportedly expounds on Alex Rodriguez’s “obsession” with Derek Jeter, essentially accuses general manager Brian Cashman of stabbing him in the back, and reveals that management was informed of his cancer diagnosis before he was. It should make a fine gift for a Red Sox fan.
What you may not know is that the basis for the book was a journal Torre kept during his tenure with the Yankees. (True story. It’s a little pink pinstriped number with a picture of a baby unicorn on it. Gift from Jeter.) And we here at OT just happen to have stumbled upon a copy. Without revealing our sources, we gladly offer you some of Joe Torre’s innermost thoughts as a Yankee.
Nov. 3, 1995: My first day on the job, and I’m greeted by this headline in the Daily News: “Clueless Joe.” Sigh. I’ll show you, New York! If I can make it here, I can make it … aw, who am I kidding? I have a sub-.500 career winning percentage and I have to put up with the whims of that nut job Steinbrenner. Better keep the ol’ resume updated.
Feb. 3, 1998: News of the day: Bob Watson is out as our GM, and Brian Cashman is in. Count me on board with this. Sure, Cash is a squirrelly-looking sort, but I know he’s got my back.
May 17, 1998: David Wells pitched a perfect game at the Stadium — what a moment for Boomer and the New York Yankees! On a related note, I never knew that a human being could smell like a combination of whiskey, Fritos, and old tube socks until we were lugging him off the field. I think I have a hernia.
Oct. 22, 2000: Weird scene in Game 2 of the Series tonight. Roger heaved a broken bat at Mike Piazza, then said he thought it was the ball. Shaky alibi, and did you see that rage? If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was on the juice.
Nov. 30, 2000: Signed Mike Mussina. What a great day for the New York Yankees! He told me he’s looking forward to winning multiple championships here. I smiled in my patented grandfatherly way and said, “You’ve come to the right place, son.”
Oct. 25, 2001: So we’re playing the Arizona Diamondbacks in the World Series. Is that like a barnstorming team or something? One for the thumb, baby!
Nov. 4. 2001: Schilling and Johnson. Ugh. How come nobody told me about those guys?
Dec. 13, 2001: Signed Jason Giambi, the big (come to think of it, huge — huh) first baseman who won the AL MVP last season in Oakland. What a great day for the New York Yankees! He told me he’s looking forward to winning multiple championships here. I smiled in my patented grandfatherly way and said, “You’ve come to the right place, son.”
July 4, 2002: Met George’s boy Hank for the first time at the Boss’ birthday party. Interesting experience. I’ve never seen a grown man wearing a onesie, chain-smoking Kools, and playing with G.I. Joes before. I guess that’s why George calls him “eccentric.”
June 25, 2003: Cashman stopped in this afternoon to inform me that we picked up some obscure outfielder on waivers. I played along, but I have to admit, I had no idea who he was talking about. Who is Karim Garcia?
Oct. 17, 2003: So we’re playing the Florida Marlins in the World Series. I think I saw them on Bassmasters once. One for the thumb, baby!
Oct. 25, 2003: Beckett and Penny. Ugh. How come nobody told me about those guys?
Feb. 15, 2004: Traded for Alex Rodriguez — who only happens to be the best player in baseball! What a great day for the New York Yankees! He told me he’s looking forward to adoring Jeter from up close. I smiled in my patented grandfatherly way and said, “You’ve come to the right place, son.”
Oct. 16, 2004: Pounded the Red Sox, 19-8, putting us up 3-0 in the ALCS. It’s like Sheff said after the game: Got those Boston bleeps where we want ’em. I’m beginning to think there’s something to this “Curse of the Bambino” business.
Oct. 20, 2004: Aw, *$*#&.
July 14, 2005: Walked into the clubhouse after today’s win at Boston. Caught A-Rod wearing stilettos and Jeter’s jersey, furiously scribbling notes while watching Single White Female on the clubhouse TV. What a wonderful friendship.
Dec. 20, 2005: Signed Johnny Damon, the talented center fielder who meant so much to the Red Sox the last few years. He told me he’s looking forward to winning multiple championships here. I smiled in my patented grandfatherly way and said, “Talk to me after you get a shave and a haircut, you dirty hippie.”
Sept. 8, 2007: Walked into the clubhouse and caught Alex stuffing Derek’s undergarments into his briefcase. You know, I just don’t ask anymore.
Oct. 18, 2007: Cashman, that squirrelly SOB, he finally stuck me with the shiv. Never saw it coming. What’s that saying? Revenge is a dish best served … say, what’s Verducci’s number?
OT columnist Chad Finn is a sports reporter for Boston.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org