Joe Torre is the most successful and most respected baseball manager of the modern era, steering the Yankees to six American League pennants and four World Series championships. When he left the team in 2007, it was front-page news around the country. Famously diplomatic during his tenure with the Yankees, Torre finally speaks out about what it was like building and managing the dynasty during those 12 glorious and tumultuous years.
Written as a third-person narrative with Sports Illustrated Senior Baseball Writer Tom Verducci, The Yankee Years is a thoughtful, utterly honest, and gripping behind-the-scenes look at the Yankees organization from top to bottom.
©2009 Joe Torre; (P)2009 Random House
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After all of the uproar over quotes that were erroneously attributed to Joe Torre I thought that I would listen to this book myself and decide.
This is not a book that is written by Joe Torre. Rather, he is a major contributor. It is a story ABOUT the 12 years that he managed the Yankees. There are plenty of stories about the players and other Yankees. The sole source is not Torre. Many of the quotes are directly from the people involved.
There are many fascinating sub-stories in this book. For example, the concept of the economics that drove the Moneyball craze are discussed. The teams that did well, and those that did not do well, are analyzed.
There are some great lessons in the book about life taught by Torre. His principles on leadership, trust and honesty shine through in all that he did. The way that he uses his principles in dealing with players, owners, the press etc should be a pattern for all people in business and other phases of life.
It is true that Alex Rodriguez does not come across in a favorable light. But the light is cast by Alex's actions and his own words. It is not done in a malicious manner.
"Baseball must read"
Ever wonder what really went on... Beyond the headlines ,,behind the rumors. Great book. Paul T.
"Ok, passed the time"
I'm not a Yankee fan, but I've been a Joe Torre fan since his time with the Cardinals as a player and Braves as a manager. The book is OK. There are many good stories, insights, and some very detailed accounts of games, contract negotiations, the Steinbrenners, PEDs, and baseball in general.
The one drawback is it seems like each chapter was written without regard to what was in the other chapters. Many times there would be a reference to an event or game that was covered in a previous chapter, without any acknowledgement that the reader/listener had already been told this bit of information.
Also, it sometimes was hard to tell who was speaking and/or how the book was written (1st person, third person, etc.). The narration was good, assuming he was reading and couldn't really help the reader know when Mike Mussina was talking, Torre was talking, or someone was narrating.
If you are a Torre or Yankee fan and/or want some insight in the 12 Torre years in pinstripes, it's worth an Audible credit!
What I thought was going to be a book chock full of boring facts turned out to be a wonderful journey inside the clubhouse of the Yankees 1996-2008 seasons. The story is written in chronological order and does not jump around. Joe Torre goes into detail about his relationships with each one of his Yankee stars that made an impact with the team for the 12 years he was manager. He also goes into detail about how difficult and rewarding it was to work for the Steinbrenner family. My favorite section of the book detailed each one of the 4 World Series season (1996, 1998-2000). If you are a Yankees fan, this is a must read.
"Not just for Yankees fans."
I've been looking for a baseball related audiobook so I decided to give this one a try. Even though I'm a Cubs fan, I always liked Joe Torre and figured this might be interesting. I was right. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the behind the scenes of a Major League Baseball team. The chapter on steroids is a real eye opener.
"Torre didn't write this book"
If this book had been marketed honestly it would have listed Tom Verducci as the author, with Joe Torre. I expected to listen to a first-person account of Torre's tenure with the Yankees. Instead I got a third-person account written by Verducci with Torre prominently quoted. The Yankee Years also included several non-Yankee baseball occurrences that occurred between 1996 and 2007. This was not a bad thing and it offered some perspective. Verducci also offered up a lot of "so what" statistics that, given what we learned in the book, would have been more interesting to Brian Cashman than to Joe Torre. Rarely do I suggest a book should have been shorter but, in this case, I think we could have learned everything that we wished to learn in about 10 hours. I've heard Michael Kramer narrate other works and he generally does a good job. In this book, however, his monotone weared on me after a while. Not a bad book, but it could have been better.
"So So for a long time Yankee fan"
Didn't care for the narrator's voice. Concentrated on so much of the negative players and memories. Would like to have heard more about the players who made his stay in New York a successful one.
very good story audio is good . good insight into dumb red Sox too
This book is a very comprehensive chronicle of Joe Torre's time as manager of the Yankees (as the title accurately indicates). I have always been a Torre fan ever since he broke in as a player with the Braves. In fact, at that time (remember, this was pre-Johnny Bench) I thought Joe Torre might end up being the best hitting catcher in MLB history. While I very much appreciated all of the detail and rich insights this book provided, I wish it would have covered more of Torre's career----both as a manager and as a player. I also appreciated the insights on the other key Yankee figures during that era, e.g. coaches, ownership and especially players. In fact, the only negative for me (and here I obviously part with other reviewers) was the narration. Who picks these narrators anyway?! Michael Kramer may very well do a fine job with other books (as long as the reader does not object to unconscionable pronunciation errors of proper nouns), but his voice and intonation did not work for me with this book. Sometimes when I struggle initially with a narrator, I will become accustomed to his voice within the first hour or so and then be fine the rest of the way through, but not this time. And also, BTW, my criticism of his flagrant mispronunciation of names is not limited to unusual names and obscure players. Very annoying and frankly inexcusable.
The Best Team Money Can Buy, by Molly Knight---a book I consider superior to this one.
Not unless I found the content irresistible, and even then, I would probably buy the book (hard copy).
None that I haven't already noted.
Write another book on Torre that includes his time before and after the Yankees.
"Insider's look at one of the best Yankee Managers"
I am a Yankee fan and had wanted to read this book, expecting it to be a first hand account of Joe Torre's tenure as Yankees manager. As many other reviewers have pointed out, this book is not even close to being written by Torre: Tom Verducci wrote it and included quotes from Torre throughout. I thought the input from David Cone was the best. I had always liked Cone and hearing more about how he was in the clubhouse and as a competitor was interesting to me. I thought his comments about the teams during the 90s were very insightful and were probably better than most of the other players comments. I found that Verducci often went on tangents that had little to do with what was supposed to be the overall concept of the book: Torre's years as a manager. There were large chunks of the book that discussed in depth the actions of Theo Epstein, the Red Sox, and the Indians involving Carmona. When he began going into some of these details I kept asking myself, "How does this relate to Torre other than it was about players he managed against?" He could have summarized the Red Sox approach to signing players in a few sentences but instead chose to rant about it for some time. Overall I did enjoy the book but I think it was just because I am a Yankee fan and baseball fan. Those not as interested in the team or the sport might find this to be somewhat boring as the juicy, controversial issues supposedly brought up in this book really aren't there.
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