Chat with SportsCenter anchor Hannah Storm
Welcome to The Show! On Wednesday, ESPN anchor Hannah Storm stops by to chat about her interview with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre.
Storm, who co-hosts the daily morning 9 a.m. to noon ET SportsCenter with Josh Elliott, will sit down with Torre to discuss his new book Torre's book deals with his time as the New York Yankees manager.
Send your questions now and join Storm on Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Hannah Storm (1:02 PM)
Hi everybody. I;m in New York City, where I sat down with Joe Torre to talk about his new book, The Yankee Years. The cover of the Post today is "J-Fraud", which speaks to the controversy that this book has stirred. It has elicited a lot of reaction from fans who viewed Torre as a manager that consistently stayed above the fray and defended his players. Torre admitted to me that he was somewhat surprised by the reaction.
What does he say was his reasoning for doing the book?
Hannah Storm (1:03 PM)
Joe actually started writing the book in 2007, before his final season with the Yankees. He said that he saw it as a portrayal of baseball and how it changed over his dozen years as manager. I asked him if he was bitter or angry with the team, and if this was about retribution. He said no, and told me that while he was paid well for the book, it was not about money, but that one of the things he wanted to get across was how hard it was to win at that level for so long.
Hannah, Clearly Joe picked the wrong time in his career for this book, right? Why not wait until he retires?
Hannah Storm (1:05 PM)
Great point. I asked him that very same question. He did not see this as a tell-all to be released after all parties concerned were out of the sport. He said that this book would have been released even if he were still managing the Yankees, only it would have had a different ending. He took out a lot of information after reading the book five or six times. A lot of it was not fit for public knowledge. In his mind, he held back on a lot of things he could have said. He says he's comfortable with the book and proud of it. He did not anticipate this kind of reaction.
Did he have any comment on the Yankees possibly implimenting a confidentialiy clause in contracts?
Hannah Storm (1:06 PM)
Those clauses are already in place for some employees, but Torre never signed one.
Do you think Torre is upset with the Yankees?
Hannah Storm (1:08 PM)
He said that he was angry with the Yankees when they left him dangling and left his job status uncertain, as when in 2006, he didn't know whether he'd be back or not before five minutes before his season-ending press conference. He said that his anger has since subsided. He claims he was more relieved than bitter at the end. However, there is no question he feels he was treated unfairly and underappreciated.
Matt (Chapel Hill, NC)
before this his number 6 would have been retired is he worried about his standing in yankee history?
Hannah Storm (1:09 PM)
He is not worried about his legacy with the Yankees. I asked him that, and he said that it was what it is. He wants the team to recognize the Joe Torre era as one in which they elevated their level of play, and that what happened in New York cannot be taken away from him.
What do you think of the book?
Hannah Storm (1:10 PM)
Interestingly enough, a lot of people besides Torre are interviewed in it. There is a lot about how baseball has changed in terms of steroid use and player economics, along with the fact that there are some who put statistics at a premium rather than the quote "heartbeat" of a player. This was a big source of conflict between him and Torre. If you're a baseball fan, this is a fascinating look behind the scenes.
Read the SI article. Why didn't they just tell Torre "we're going in a different direction"?
Hannah Storm (1:12 PM)
That is a big point of contention with Torre--the fact that, for a number of years, his status was uncertain, and that the expectations were so high that it was impossible to reach that benchmark--i.e., reaching the World Series every year. According to Torre, an underground campaign to remove him began in 2004, and he never felt secure after that. As to why the Yankees didn't make his job status more clear, that is hard to determine, but it's not unusual in the world of sports.
What did he say about any fears his Dodgers players might have about his trustworthiness now?
Hannah Storm (1:14 PM)
He said he doesn't know how his current team will react, or whether they will hold back from confiding in him. He says he's not sure what he will say about the book in Spring Training, but that he'll probably joke about it. Again, he reiterates that he feels he was being honest and was not violating anyone's trust. He feels that much of what was in the book was known to the players and others.
Bryan (Montclair, NJ)
Hannah, it seems that Torre didn't directly report (or in some cases even understand) some of the references in the book (i.e. A-Rod as "Single White Female"). So, if Torre wasn't responsible for the majority of the controversial material, then how can he NOT have any regrets about being a part of the book, since he will most likely not have his number retired by the Yankees based on something he didn't even write?
Hannah Storm (1:16 PM)
That's an interesting question. Torre does say that Tom Verducci found out a lot of information in that book and put it in there. But that story about Jeter and A-Rod is one of the most controversial passages in there. He says it clearly delineates the difference between what Torre said and what Verducci found out. However, Torre's quotes may be controversial enough for the Yankees to react. He understands he is responsible for the book, but is comfortable with everything in it.
Do you think Mr. Torre is getting unfairly criticized?
Hannah Storm (1:17 PM)
I think Torre himself understands that when you say these types of things in a media market like NY, there will be a backlash. He did not anticipate his book tour being a defense of his actions, however. On a personal level, he feels comfortable, but certainly one would hope that those who were criticizing him actually read the entire book. It's sort of an individual judgment call.
Hannah Storm (1:19 PM)
Thanks a lot, everybody, for your great questions. These are all the same questions I asked Joe Torre myself. I hope this provides some of the answers. The bottom line is, he feels very comfortable with this book and proud of it, and feels that whether or not this affects his legacy with the Yankees is out of his control, but that the four World Series and six pennants speak for themselves.