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News of the Day – 1/28/09

Posted By Diane Firstman On January 28, 2009 @ 8:46 am In Diane Firstman,News of the Day | Comments Disabled

I write the posts that make the Banter sing
I write the posts of news and links to things
I write the posts that make the hot stoves fry
I write the posts, I write the posts

(yes, I’m a bit delirious … I blame it on Torre and Verducci)

Anyway … here’s the news:

  • The Times’ [1] Jack Curry has some quotes from Torre on the initial reaction to the book:

“Knowing that my name is on it, I know I’m going to have to answer for it,” Torre said of the book’s contents.

Although Torre feels that betrayal is an inappropriate word to use to describe his feelings toward Cashman, there is no question that “The Yankee Years” leaves the impression that Torre was disappointed that Cashman was not a vocal supporter during the fateful “take-it-or-leave-it” contract meeting that Torre had with the Yankees after the 2007 postseason. …

… (But) Torre clearly felt Cashman could have done more. “There’s stuff in there where, from my angle, I looked at it one way and I’m sure, from his angle, he probably looked at it a different way,” Torre said in the telephone interview.

  • Over at ESPN [2], Buster Olney takes Torre to task for the quagmire of authorship of the book:

Those passages were based on Verducci’s reporting. They were written by Verducci. But it’s Torre’s book. And within the pages of this book with Torre’s name on it, some former colleagues are demeaned, and that was his choice. Verducci said in a radio interview on WFAN on Monday that all this is not really new, that everybody has known for years that Rodriguez has had difficulty assimilating with the Yankees’ veterans.

Here’s what’s new about it: The stories are in a book authored by Joe Torre. This is hardly a new concept. The fact that former first lady Nancy Reagan could be difficult was hardly a new concept, but when Ronald Reagan’s former chief of staff, Don Regan, published a book detailing that, well, it became a very big deal. The suggestion that the run-up to the Iraq war included misinformation was something posed by many reporters — but it became something very different when posited in a book by former White House spokesman Scott McClellan. The book is in Torre’s name. Says right there on the cover. By Joe Torre and Tom Verducci.

  • The News [3] has some second-hand A-Rod reactions to the book:

A-Rod also told people that nothing Torre could say would be more revealing of how he felt about his player than the act of batting him eighth in the lineup in Game 4 of the 2006 playoff series with the Tigers.

“Alex was really hurt by that,” one friend of A-Rod’s said Monday. “He believed that Torre did that to embarrass him and he knew then what Torre thought of him.

“So anything that comes out now wouldn’t compare to that. He’s just surprised that Torre would talk about these kinds of things because he always told the players the clubhouse and the bond with teammates was sacred, and not to be broken this way.”

Whatever went down that day in Tampa, when the Yankees made it clear to Torre they really didn’t want him around anymore, must have stung Torre worse than any of us could have imagined, because if there was one enduring, seemingly tarnish-proof image Torre took with him to L.A., it was the perception that here was a man of unassailable class.

Now Torre has sacrificed even that for a few moments of revenge. This book is his pound of flesh.

The irony of it all is that the people Torre is most angry at — Randy Levine, Hank and Hal Steinbrenner, Lonn Trost and now, clearly, Brian Cashman — are the ones who will be the least affected by it.

The ones who will have to bear the brunt of it are the ones Torre professes to care about the most — Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Joe Girardi — and the one he claims to have tried so hard to help, A-Rod.

  • The Post [5] quotes Cashman as thinking this whole book brouhaha could bring the team closer:

“I think we’ve gone through so much of the Alex stuff that, you know, if anything, maybe this brings people closer together,” Cashman said.

“There’s always going to be some controversy that surrounds this club. The best way you try to deal with it is to rally around each other the best you can if there’s real feelings there.”

[My take: Well, the Yanks have to integrate three new players, so there is going to be some "getting to know you" time too.  I doubt the guys will be burning the book and singing "Kumbaya".]

  • MLB.com [6] reports that Yankee brass are cautiously optimistic on the return to 100% health for Posada, Matsui and Rivera.  Here’s an excerpt:

“It’s very early in the process for those guys,” Cashman said. “I do have concerns just because we have a closer who we desperately need who is coming off shoulder surgery, no matter how minor it may be.

“I have a catcher who is a perennial All-Star and one of the premier players at that position in this game — a potential Hall of Fame candidate — that we definitely need to come back. He’s rehabbing a significant shoulder surgery and it is going well so far.”

Cashman also noted that Hideki Matsui was rehabbing well before returning to Japan for the winter. The 34-year-old outfielder underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in late September after the Yankees were eliminated from playoff contention.

  • MLB Network [7] interviewed Joba Chamberlain on being in the starting rotation in 2009.
  • ESPN’s [8] Jerry Crasnick is reporting that Bobby Abreu has lowered his salary demands to 3 years, $30-33 million … in line with Milton Bradley and Raul Ibanez’s FA contracts.
  • PeteAbe of LoHud [9] reports that Chase Wright was DFAed to make room for Pettitte on the 40-man roster.  Pete also gives us the details [10] on Andy’s contract.

Base salary: $5.5 million.

Innings bonuses: $500,000 each for 150, 160 and 170 innings pitched and $750,000 each for 180, 190, 200 and 210 innings.

Roster bonuses: $100,000 for 120 days on the active 25-man roster, $200,000 for 130 days, $250,000 each for 140 and 150 days, and $400,000 each for 160, 170 and 180 days.

  • Jon Lane of the YES Network [11] writes that the re-signing of Pettitte allows the “youngsters” some more time to work on their stuff:

“Ian Kennedy is someone in hindsight, we put too much on him too early,” Cashman said. “He looked like someone who was ready to take off. It was the wrong call and I take responsibility for that. What I do know about Ian Kennedy is that he’s mentally tough, he’s a competitor and he wants to do nothing more than step back and take his rightful place back in the big leagues.”

Kennedy responded by posting a 2.29 ERA, with opponents hitting .169 off him, this winter in the Puerto Rican League. And even if he and Hughes were to start the season in the Minors, it could end up as a blessing. The pressure for two former first-round picks to produce immediately will be reduced and more success at Triple-A will be reassurance should the Yankees encounter the inevitable injury to one of their starters.

  • Happy 75th birthday to former Yankee announcer Bill White!

Article printed from Bronx Banter: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com

URL to article: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com/2009/01/28/news-of-the-day-12809/

URLs in this post:

[1] Times’: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/28/sports/baseball/28torre.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

[2] ESPN: http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3863381&name=olney_buster

[3] News: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2009/01/26/2009-01-26_source_by_batting_arod_8th_in_playoffs_j-2.html

[4] Wallace Matthews: http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-spwally0127,0,4710849.column

[5] Post: http://www.nypost.com/seven/01272009/sports/yankees/cashman__book_could_bring_us_closer_152277.htm

[6] MLB.com: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090127&content_id=3775352&vkey=hotstove2008&fext=.jsp

[7] MLB Network: http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200901273777546&c_id=nyy

[8] ESPN’s: http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/features/rumors

[9] LoHud: http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2009/01/27/wright-is-designated/

[10] details: http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2009/01/27/the-details-on-pettittes-deal/

[11] YES Network: http://web.yesnetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090127&content_id=1462647&oid=36019&vkey=4

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