Everyday I write the book (and I’m NOT Joe Torre) … here’s the news:
- Joe Torre has been a busy man, apparently. As you’ve read this past weekend, he’s got a tell-all book about his 12 seasons with the Yanks coming out next week.
- ESPN reports that though Torre supposedly has some unkind things to say about Brian Cashman, Cashman seems to be alright:
When reached by ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney on Sunday, Cashman said that he had spoken to Torre by phone. He said that the manager told him to wait for the book to come out, that they are friends and will always be friends.
“Joe was a great manager for us,” Cashman said. “I’m glad he called me. I’m very comfortable with my relationship with him.”
- Michael Schmidt of the Times covers the release of the book, and it seems that A-Rod is going to have the spotlight shone on him again come Spring Training:
The book quotes Mike Borzello, a former Yankees bullpen catcher who is described as a “close friend” of Rodriguez’s, and says that Borzello was constantly having to boost Rodriguez’s ego because he felt that he was competing with Derek Jeter for attention.
“It doesn’t help,” Borzello said, referring to Rodriguez’s awkward relationship with Jeter. “You would rather that the stars are in the same place, pulling together, but I don’t think it affected the other players. It just affected the feel in the clubhouse.”
Borzello added that he used to tell Rodriguez all the time that Rodriguez was coming to the stadium and trying to get everyone to look at him, but that they were already looking at him: “You’re Alex Rodriguez. I don’t understand that.”
- Torre is going to be in the metro area touting the book.
- The Times has an article on Tim Raines, who will be the new manager of the Newark Bears, and on the state of the team and league it plays in:
Raines … adds a splash of celebrity to the Bears, but he has been given a mandate to assemble a winning team.
If the Bears win, Wankmiller contends, they will draw more fans. By his reckoning, the refurbished corporate suites, virtually empty last year, will become more popular for entertaining, and the Bears could sell more advertising.
But there is a long way to go. According to the league, the Bears drew only 181,240 fans last season, seventh in the league. Their average crowd of 2,746 was about half the size of the average at Somerset Patriots games in Bridgewater. (The Patriots, the league champs last season, are managed by another ex-Yankee, Sparky Lyle.)
“We think baseball can work here,” said Joe Klein, a former big-league general manager and the executive director of the Atlantic League, whose offices are in Camden. “We’re confident people will come to games. Maybe people at first will come to games because of Tim Raines, but that’s O.K.”
- Also in the Times, Harvey Araton laments the lengthy timetable for the demolition of the old Stadium, which puts the neighborhood’s needs on the back burner:
“That’s going take at least two years because the city’s priority is the Yankees, not the neighborhood,” said Joyce Hogi, a member of the Community Board 4 parks committee.
She and her colleagues fought a long, losing battle of preservation best evidenced by two stadiums at the expense of cherished parkland, to be replaced here and there and on terms mostly beneficial to a private enterprise already worth in excess of $1 billion. All while the old and the new stand side by side, towering over what is commonly called the nation’s poorest Congressional district like some supersize baseball mall.
- MLB.com reports on the slimmed-down Robinson Cano, who feels like he’s gonna have a better ’09:
“It’s motivation for me this year,” Cano said. “Now I know I have to start from the beginning this year, in April, not in June. I have to start early now.”
Cano appeared Friday in New Rochelle, N.Y., at a benefit for Hillside Food Outreach, supporting an annual event hosted by former Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams. Noticeably trimmer, Cano said that he shed five pounds from the end of the regular season and currently weighs in at 208.
He believes that the Yankees helped by permitting him to play winter ball, serving as a designated hitter for Las Estrellas de Oriente. Cano also hopes that competing for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic will help him get into the swing of game action sooner.
- MLB.com also catches up with Bernie Williams, who is trying to see if he can play both his guitar and baseball (not simultaneously, natch):
“As a performing artist, you have to do dates and promotions and try to promote your music albums,” Williams said. “That is not really going to be very conducive to being 100 percent out there playing baseball as well.
“There’s got to be a compromise at some point, but we haven’t really gotten to that point yet. I anticipate that if I want to do it the same way I do baseball, it’s going to be very difficult to do it at the same time.” …
“After I make the team hopefully and play, I think it will be a good indication of how I feel about playing,” Williams said. “The physical skills have to be there, the mentality has to be there, the motivation and competition. I think it will put me in a good position for my decision making.”
- Newsday has a story on the Bombers making a concerted effort to keep their players and fans safe and sanitary in the new stadium.
- Brian Doyle turns 54 today. Doyle was the unlikely hero of the ’78 World Series, going 7-16 with 4 runs scored, as the Yanks beat the Dodgers in 6 games. Doyle’s career line …. .161/.201/.191 in 199 ABs over four seasons.
- Not a Yankee birthday … but Happy 74th to Bob Uecker!
- On this date in 1962, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle sign contracts with Columbia Pictures to appear in Safe at Home!, a movie that is to be shot during spring training. The movie will star Maris and Mantle as themselves and feature cameos by Whitey Ford and Ralph Houk.