January 29, 2009

Two Peeks Into Verducci/Torre Book

Tom, a book editor at Amazon and Red Sox fan, emailed me links to his comments on the new Tom Verducci book as well as the comments of his Yankee fan friend. Some brief snips:

The Yankee Hater's Guide to The Yankee Years by Joe Torre
Yanks owner George Steinbrenner was so -- I don't know -- cheap, or petty, or spoiled by victory that his scouts had to wait a full year to get their World Series rings after the 1999 season, and never got rings for the last year they won, in 2000, even though Steinbrenner pals like Billy Crystal did. ...

The greatest comic relief throughout is the Carl Pavano saga ... [including] Mike Mussina's offhand comment that the disabled list is now called the "15-Day Pavano" ...

Bullpen catcher Mike Borzello, giving his assessment of the first throwing session for Kei Igawa, the Japanese import the Yankees brought in for $46 million to compete with the Sox' signing of Dice-K Matsuzaka: "I hope he's either seriously hurt or badly hung over, so there's an explanation for throwing like that."

The Yankee Fan's Guide to The Yankee Years by Joe Torre
If you're a sports fan, by now you've heard endless amounts of coverage and "expert analysis" of what is supposedly featured in the book. Don't believe the hype. ... [I]t's nowhere near as nasty as what's being portrayed by the talking heads right now. ...

You can't read 10 pages of this book without another account of some tough-guy player breaking down from the pressure of playing in New York and/or playing for owner George Steinbrenner and his merry band of mischievous and sleazy underlings. Some of these revelations were pretty startling to read about:

* Former All-Star pitcher Kevin Brown, he of the stone-faced intensity and $100 million contract? Found curled up in the equipment room of the clubhouse half-naked and bawling during a game he was still pitching!

* Serial tough man Roger Clemens? Uncontrollable sobbing in the clubhouse during a game he was pitching in the World Series! This after his got all macho and threw a shard of bat in the direction of nemesis Mike Piazza.
Damn! Fat Billy cried, but it's Mordecai in the story I was wondering about.

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