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NY Post and Daily News essentially were tripping over themselves to see who could break the story first. And in the world of borderline tabloid press, that means infusing as much dramatic hype and controversy into the headline, and then doing their damnedest to retrofit the minimal info available into supporting such leads.

A week before "The Yankee Years" is even coming to bookshelves, Torre is being slammed for his tell-all. Which isn't even 100% by Torre. Or is a tell-all. I keep going back and forth on the issue, and I've come up with a few thoughts:

1.) I worked in publishing in my few year out of college. Granted, it was medical publishing, so it's not really possible to publish a 12-month clinical trial before, in fact, 12 months. But the point is, the time from when the onset of a publishing venture to the day the book hits the shelves is anything but expedited. Hell, it takes me a day to throw a couple thousand words up on the internet. So MAYBE, when Torre said "eff off" to Steinbrenner's paltry and insulting offer, publishing houses probably swarmed him like he was Joba in the ALDS. And MAYBE the wounds were still gushing. 

"Co-author a book that lambasts the Steinbrenners?! Show me where to sign!"

And MAYBE after he had settled into comfy arms of LA, the damage had already been done. He had already said too much, and his name was already firmly attached to it. 

2.) Who isn't guilty of ragging on their buddies? 

"So, let's talk a little about your spouse/sibling/parent/inordinately susceptible to public backlash 3rd baseman."

"I said to him, 'Alex, do me a favor and get a cup of coffee by yourself instead of sending someone to get you a cup of coffee.' A little while later. he goes out of his way to find me. He's carrying a cup of coffee. 'Look, Skip,' he said. 'I got my own cup of coffee!'"

I'm TRYING to picture him saying this with a half smile, faintly shaking his head. Kinda like you'd talk about the latest game-costing Manny error. "I said to him, 'Manny, do me a favor and keep track of the outs/hit the cut-off man/just don't roll around in the outfield when the ball's growing moss under your ass.'"

3.) Having now concocted 2 benefit-of-the-doubt [unlikely] situations, the whole thing is still not sitting well with me. Because who cares how he said it, or why, or what context it was in? The fact is, perception is reality. And it doesn't matter what he meant because anyone who wasn't born in the past half hour knows that ARod is flypaper for public criticism. He's not Manny. And maybe it's a pain in the ass to deal with, but we are who we are. People don't change. Saying ANYTHING about ARod is automatically going to be inputted into the Controversy/Unseemingly Press generator. 

Even if ARod required ALL the handholding in the world, even if he WAS a prima donna, he wasn't the one making Torre's life hell. The Steinbrenners were. It's a weak showing to jump on the ARod hater wagon just because Torre knows he's only feeding an existing sports page go-to sidebar.

4.) Is this all just a brilliant marketing strategy? There isn't a single fanbase that isn't interested in this now. Another book documenting the Evil Empire would have garnered nothing more than a collective groan from the sportsfan readership. Now? Haters are chomping at the bit to finally possess hardened, documented, from-the-horses-mouth proof that ARod sucks. Yankee fans are desperate to find out it's not true.

5.) No one's not interested in the book, but no one reveres him anymore either. Yankee fans adored him like he was our father, and even the most diehard Yankee haters had to concede, "Ok, yeah, I like Torre. I admit, he's a class act." But now? His legacy and status is a shell of what it once was. He's now just another jilted celebrity who forfeits the high road to expose the sacred secrets of the inside.

No matter who you are, no matter what happened, avenging it is poor form. You take a detour off the high road, and you're no longer in the HOV lane. I remember I watched "Baby Boom" with my dad when I was about 11. At the end of the movie, when Diane Keaton's old company makes an offer for her self-made baby food enterprise, after royally screwing her over, she turns it down. And I remember thinking, "Pshh, how could she turn down all the cash?! How much is revenge worth??" And then when I started working in advertising, I changed my tune to, "Hmm, if I were her, I'd sell my product to my old company's biggest competitor, just to screw them over." 

Then after working in advertising for a few years, I decided that we're too old to base career moves on malicious vendettas. 

No one's gonna forgive Torre for this. No matter how it turns out. We've been defending our team from jealous haters, condescending asswipes, and obsessive cynics for years. We get it from all sides. But until now, never the inside. 

You're persona non grata in the Bronx now, buddy. But it's your own fault. You forget one of the city's holiest tenets, "Never take sides with anyone against the family, ever." 


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