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Paperback The Yankee Years Book

ISBN: 0767930428

ISBN13: 9780767930420

The Yankee Years

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Book Overview

The definitive story of one of the greatest dynasties in baseball history, Joe Torre's New York Yankees. When Joe Torre took over as manager of the Yankees in 1996, they had not won a World Series title in eighteen years. In that time seventeen others had tried to take the helm of America's most famous baseball team. Each one was fired by George Steinbrenner. After twelve triumphant seasons--with twelve straight playoff appearances, six pennants,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Great Book

I thought this book was terrific. In fact it was much better than I initially thought it would be. As for all the drama that went along with it...i dont know...it wasnt all that contraversial to me. But he does tell all about the inner going ons of the club house; which is very interesting. This book was gripping, incredibly hard to put down. I wouldnt mind reading it again. Now that i said all that I do have to admit I am a big yankee fan, so maybe im a little one sided. Im not sure other non yankee fans will enjoy it as much as I did. BUT i do think they will enjoy it. Just not as much as a yankee fan I guess. After all it is a book about the 1996-2007 yankees. This book really changed my atitudes towards some of the players. Some who are greedy, some fake injuries, some are in the clouds of stardumb. But it also reinforces my feeling toward the good players like Jeter, Williams, Cone, and others. Ok that was my dumb review. Just go buy it already.

The Verducci Years

I got off to a bad start with "The Yankee Years" when I spotted a factual error at the top of page two. Author Tom Verducci describes the 1995 Yankees as having blown a 2-1 lead in games to the Seattle Mariners in the American League Division Series. Well, that's technically accurate... as it is to say later that the Yanks blew a 3-2 lead to the Red Sox in 2004. Technically accurate, but still wrong. After that, fortunately, it's smooth sailing. Just keep your expectations in check. This is NOT Joe Torre's comprehensive autobiography. This is not a blow-by-blow account of how Torre managed all those playoff games, and there's not a whole lot of actual scoops. This is simply Tom Verducci's biography of baseball in the early 21st century, in which Joe Torre's Yankees played a pivotal part. Verducci uses Torre largely as on-the-record source material, and Torre's commentary improves a lot of Verducci's stories and relevations. News to me were the Yankees near-signing of Albert Belle in 1999 (thankfully they chose to retain Bernie Williams instead), and Billy Crystal's DVD roast sent to the team on the eve of the 2007 playoffs. A large portion of this book has very little Torre at all. Verducci is most interested in two things: how steroids affected the game in the late '90s, and how the information revolution (and revenue sharing) helped close the gap between the Yankees and the rest of the American League after the 2000 World Series. The chapter on steroids and the chapter on Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game and its progeny have very little Torre in them. Other more comprehensive books exist on each subject, but Verducci does a good big-picture job of tying them into a larger theme -- how baseball corrected the spending gap caused by the Yankees' enormous wealth. Other Yankees personnel and Torre admirers have large roles in the book. Mike Mussina, Jason Giambi and Larry Bowa evidently made themselves available for lengthy interviews, and their perspective is quoted throughout. Three rival general managers (Billy Beane, Theo Epstein and Mark Shapiro) show their respect to Torre while at the same time explaining how they lapped Brian Cashman in the intelligence-gathering field. Even if this is clearly Verducci's pet project, you still can't tell the story of baseball over the last 15 years without Joe Torre's blessing. Even as the 2001 - 2007 Yankees stacked up failure after playoff failure, even as their minor league pool dried up and their free agent picks got worse and worse (David Cone and Jimmy Key yield to Carl Pavano and Kei Igawa), Torre was still good for 100 wins a year. The most original parts of "The Yankee Years" are the final few chapters, detailing the eclipse of George Steinbrenner's faculties and the Yankees' tumultuous 2007 season. Verducci gets pretty far inside the clubhouse door and gives a very entertaining recounting of the swarm of midges that helped the Indians push past New York in the '07 A

Not quite as controversial as the media portrayed it

As a lifelong Yankee fan I have to say that this book is absolutely invaluable because of all the information within. I'll be perfectly honest in saying that at the end of the 2007 season I thought it was time for Joe Torre to move on. My reasoning had more to do with maybe the team needing perhaps a new viewpoint from a manager. I know that it came with the price of the Yankees missing the postseason in 2008, and to be honest I was fine with that because it was something that I personally had been waiting for since the 2004 season. Joe just managed to stave off the eventual end of the Yankee postseason runs for a few more years and he did a hell of a job in spite of the parts he was given. After reading this book I will say that I'm very glad Joe didn't come back for the 2008 season with the Yankees because I think the unfair pressure on him would have continued, but it also brings up a complaint about the book which I will address at the end of the review. The book is a very candid look at the Yankee run under Joe Torre from the 1996 thru 2007 seasons. It reads nicely, I've always been a huge fan of Tom Verducci's writings in Sports Illustrated and he doesn't fail to disappoint here. It's very nice to get a rare glimpse of the Yankee team behind closed doors and all of the problems that individual players brought to the team ranging from the moody Kevin Brown to the high maintenance Alex Rodriguez. In addition as others have mentioned the book does a wonderful job of detailing how MLB as a whole changed over the past 15 years thanks to the Yankee dominance during the Dynasty. Now the excerpts released to the press prior to the publication of this book were designed to drum up interest, and it worked without a doubt. What I can say is that reading those excerpts within the context of the book as a whole, they really aren't that controversial. I was initially annoyed by what Torre said when I heard about it, but after reading the book, it brought me back to the times when some of the events occurred. To be honest, it wasn't really a big secret that David Wells was lazy, or that Kevin Brown was perpetually pissed off about something (and yes he could make your life miserable due to his attitude and frequent stints on the DL). Alex Rodriguez always was known as a high maintenance kind of guy. Joe Torre wasn't really dishing dirt in my opinion, but he was rather reinforcing what was already public knowledge. It is interesting to read what he had to say about different players, and I don't think any less of him for saying what he said. Much like Buster Olney's book The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty New Edition: The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness, this book outlines many of the problems/mistakes the Yankees made in trying to continually win the World Series every single year. They missed completely what brought them the 4 World Series in 5 years, and they paid a price that most fans of other teams have not realized. Spending the mone

Deserves more than 5 stars....

The Yankee Years by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci has received a large amount of pre-release press especially from the New York media, but also the L. A. Times. I can't remember a book release in the recent past that has garnered so much attention before anyone has had a chance to read it. Even Steinbrenner is curious about the books contents. He should be. The Yankee Years is a measured and thoughtful look at the years Joe Torre managed the Yankees, 1996-2007. During that time he got to and won four World Series out of five, not an easy task for anyone. Torre also stopped much of the ridicule he received from the New York media upon his appointment. If winning four World Series doesn't prove you're worthy of the job, nothing else will. The fact of the matter is that Joe Torre became the most beloved Yankees managers of all time winning the respect of the fans and his players.....also not an easy task given the list of outstanding players he worked with. Not being a part of professional sports means that most of us read these kinds of books with a fascination made up of a combination of awe and disgust. Our only window into professional sports is comprised of the media, written and electronic and then watching the games as they come to us, one after another as the season progresses. I say this, because that means books such as the Yankee Years become our "inside" story; our life line and private peek into the insanity of what has become "professional sports." The Yankee Years has already aggravated several A-list players that are mentioned in the book. A-Rod, reportedly referred to as A-Fraud by his team mates, and David Wells just to name two people who may not be happy with the publication of The Yankee Years. Well written and very readable, the Yankee Years is above all else interesting and will be a book any baseball fan will want to read regardless of your team affiliation. Let's face it, the Yankees are the most storied of professional baseball teams and reading about them interests us even if we aren't fans. Joe Torre's The Yankee Years is worth reading. I highly recommend. Peace

An insightful look at America's game

I am not a Yankee fan. I am not a Red Sox fan. I have no dog in this fight. Now, with that out of the way, I hope you'll give me a fair shake at this. My opinion: this is a good read, at times even gripping. Its value lies beyond what gossip it contains about A-Rod or how it gets back at the Steinbrenners. It's an inside look at how baseball has changed, in ways that are often not that good. I thought The Yankee Years would be a routine behind-the-scenes tell-all, but its ambitions are bigger. It chronicles the end of an era in baseball, a more innocent time before steroid scandals, big money and executive decisions based on advanced statistical analysis. This is not a Joe Torre memoir. Torre provides his voice and viewpoint throughout the book, but Verducci also quotes dozens and dozens of other key personalities. He weaves it all into a fascinating narrative that covers all the highs and lows of the Yankee's dynasty years. The book throws a spotlight on many key players from this era. Some shine, others don't. David Cone, Mike Mussina and Derek Jeter shine. Jeter, in particular, impresses throughout with his sunny optimism and quiet leadership. If you weren't a Jeter fan before, you will be after reading it. There has been a lot of buzz about Torre dissing players in these pages. The "A-Fraud" reference to Alex Rodriguez is a throwaway reference to what guys in the clubhouse -- not Torre -- called A-Rod in 2004, about how the player tried to fit in during his first season as a Yankee. "People in the clubhouse, including teammates and support personnel, were calling him `A-Fraud' behind his back." Instead, Torre offers his clear-eyed assessment of Rodriguez as a player who can't succeed as a team player because of his fear of failure. "There's a certain free-fall you have to go through," he says, "when you commit yourself without a guarantee that it's always going to be good. There's a sort of trust, a trust and commitment thing that has to allow yourself to fail. Allow yourself to be embarrassed. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. And sometimes players aren't willing to do that." It's almost biblical the way it all ends. A cloud of midges on a hot Cleveland night dooms the Yankees in a key playoff game. Thousands of the irritating insects descend on the mound, thoroughly rattling the pitcher. Bug spray makes the torment worse, not better. This perfect swarm seals Torre's fate. He leaves the Yankees not long after the loss, after a painful 10-minute meeting where he realizes his own personal Judas is his long-time general manager, Brian Cashman. "Cashman had retreated to silence with Torre's job on the line. The allies of Joe Torre had dwindled to zero." Throughout the arc of this tale, Torre comes across as calm, determined and fair. I should admit I do have a slight bias. When I was in junior high growing up outside St. Louis, Joe Torre taught me to play infield. He was playing third base for the Cardinals then. He appeared at the co
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