Thursday, March 12, 2009

Book Review: The Yankee Years by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci

Last night I finished the supposedly controversial Joe Torre book, The Yankee Years, which he and Tom Verducci teamed up for. I’m still kind of digesting this book but overall I would say it was an interesting read. I was amazed, however, at how poorly edited it was not just with typos and grammatical mistakes, but there were some parts that a story in the book just dropped off. Quite often, I found myself turning back some pages to see if I missed something.

The parts I loved about the book were the tales of the championship years. Forgive my pollyanna, but those stories were pure and what sports can be and should be all about. Reading about how David Cone used to get George Steinbrenner riled up and how he would tell George that Paul O’Neill wasn’t psyched up enough to play were laugh-out-loud funny parts.

Then there was the very interesting chapter on how steroid use became so prevalent and why guys like Barry Bonds found it almost a necessity to take steroids to keep up with Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. The part that stood out to me is the prevalence of amphetamines or “greenies” in the game of baseball. Oh yeah, I’ve known some Met fans that used to say only Yankees were using steroids, well, not according to this book or The Mitchell Report for that matter.

At times the book did read like a manifesto defending Joe Torre’s legacy, which is sad if Torre feels the need to do that.

Yeah there are some shots taken at some ballplayers and even some things where you could read between the lines. But I don’t think it is dripping with the kind of dirt that would make The Real Housewives of NYC blush. No, it’s a good read and probably a must for Yankee fans. But the media hype that it was ripping everyone to shreds was just that, hype.

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