01/25/09 4:52 PM EST
Torre critical of Yankees in new book
Former Bombers skipper shares views on Cashman, A-Rod
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
In Tom Verducci's upcoming release, "The Yankee Years," Torre stirs the pot with details regarding his former team -- including criticism of Alex Rodriguez and general manager Brian Cashman.
Notes from the 477-page book -- set to be released Feb. 3 and published by Doubleday -- were printed in Sunday's New York Post and New York Daily News.
The Daily News reports: "Torre describes general manager Brian Cashman as a less than supportive ally who betrayed him on several fronts, and says that his star player, Alex Rodriguez, was often referred to by his teammates as 'A-Fraud,' and was obsessed with his perceived rival, shortstop Derek Jeter."
The Post, which purchased an advance copy in a New York bookstore last week, reported that Rodriguez "developed a 'Single White Female'-like obsession with Jeter and asked for a personal clubhouse assistant to run errands for him."
Torre enjoyed an enormously successful run with the Yankees, winning four World Series titles and six American League pennants in 12 years. But the relationship was strained at times -- Torre claims that when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999, club doctors told owner George Steinbrenner about the illness before telling Torre himself.
The Post story adds: "And while the Bombers would win four world championships under Torre's watch by 2000, there were years of tension over management's choice of players and the growing silence between him and Yankee brass."
Torre goes into detail on his departure from the Yankees, criticizing Cashman for never relaying his wishes for a two-year contract extension to management. Instead, Torre turned down an incentive-based one-year contract after the Yankees' first-round playoff exit in 2007.
He deemed the pact an "insult" -- it would have cut Torre's base salary from $7 million to $5 million, incorporating $1 million bonuses for each level of the postseason the Yankees reached in 2008.
Torre bristled at the insinuation that he needed financial motivation to win in the postseason. In his final act as Yankees manager, Torre shook Steinbrenner's hand and walked out of a 20-minute meeting at the Yankees' Tampa, Fla., complex.
"I just felt that the terms of the contract were probably something I had the toughest time with," Torre said in October 2007. "The one year for one thing; the incentives for another thing. I had been there for 12 years, and I didn't feel the motivation was needed."
The Yankees hired Joe Girardi as a replacement later that month, agreeing to a three-year, $7.5 million deal. Girardi guided New York to 89 victories in his first season at the helm, with the Yankees missing the playoffs for the first time in 13 years.
Torre landed on his feet quickly, accepting a three-year, $13 million offer to move west and manage the Dodgers. Replacing Grady Little in Los Angeles, Torre won 84 games and reached the National League Championship Series before falling in five games to the eventual World Series champion Phillies.
An early summary of the book provided by the publisher notes that Torre also discusses the players who could not resist the after-hours temptations of New York, and the contrasts between managing the varied personalities of Jeter, Mariano Rivera, A-Rod and Jason Giambi.
Torre also recounts the good times. Each of the World Series titles is described from Torre's viewpoint, as well as the drama of the 2001 postseason and the epic Game 7 of the 2003 AL Championship Series against the Red Sox.
The book is Torre's second collaborating with Verducci. The pair also teamed for an autobiography, "Chasing the Dream," which was released after the 1996 World Series.
Torre is scheduled to appear for a book signing at the Yogi Berra Museum in Little Falls, N.J., on Feb. 3.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.