Torre cried when he visited Yankee Stadium last year – his first trip back since the big rift. Apparently, today’s meet and greet at Steinbrenner Field was less fraught with emotion and just part of the former manager’s swing through the Grapefruit League in his new job at MLB. While he was in Tampa, he said he’d been invited to this year’s Old Timer’s Day and that he had accepted.
I’m a sucker for happy endings, so this was good news for me. I like it when people who’ve been on the outs finally kiss and make up. But I’d be lying if I didn’t feel some lingering resentment toward Torre. He was a great manager for the Yankees – the right guy at the right time – but when he wrote allowed Tom Verducci to write a book that revealed his innermost thoughts about his players while they were still active and he was still managing bothered me. It did.
I remember the day his book was published because it had the same pub date as my “Confessions” book. (And no, I’m not sore because he stole all the publicity.) I read the reviews and wondered why he needed to be so candid about A-Rod, Damon and others. What was the point? He didn’t need the money, did he? And he certainly didn’t need to pad his resume; he was already a star in the sport. Once I read the book itself, I could appreciate many aspects of it and there was no doubt that it was well written. But I couldn’t get past the meanness. Torre was everybody’s father figure. Aren’t fathers supposed to take the high road and act like grownups?
It’s all water under the bridge now. Maybe. I doubt Cashman will forgive the swipes Torre took at him in the book, no matter what he says. One thing I do know: Joe will get a huge ovation on Old Timer’s Day and he’ll shed more than a few tears as he waves his cap at the fans. I’ll be smiling. As I said, I’d rather have peace in the family than a messy divorce.