My old man used to have a saying: “Don’t be stupid, ya moron.”
Don’t be stupid, ya moron. Strikingly obtuse, yet somewhat eloquent in it’s own simplicity, the motto is actually a stroke of genius which should be etched along side E Plurbius Unum on the Great Seal of the United States. In fact, it is somewhat ironic that the architects of the idea that a new nation would have soul autonomy to govern themselves by instilling power to the people was actually be created by morons. And of course, they need a higher authority telling these morons “not to be stupid.” Checks and balances at its most absolute, ladies and gentlemen.
Flash forward a couple centuries, add in some pin stripes, a fresh faced rookie from Kalamazoo, a Steinbrenner (or two or three) and billions of dollars. Then sprinkle on some championships with a side of dynasty, not to mention the helpings of a powerful shortstop turned third baseman and the prodigal intern turned GM and you’ve got yourself the makings of a different kind of superpower. An organization that annually spends more on their players then some nations actually earn through their GDP. This is Yankee Nation.
But how could we possibly forget the architect himself, Mr. Joe Torre, the man who entering his second full season with the Dodgers has decided to air the dirty laundry of his time with the Yankees, specifically focusing on the A-Rod Era of 2004 to the Present.
As a die hard Yankee fan and someone who would pathetically lie down in front a bus for this team (okay maybe not a bus, but definitely one of those old school Fisher-Price Power Wheels), it pains me to say that if my old man ever met Joe Torre at this point and juncture, I would have him reiterate those immortal words that got me through some of the hardest times of my life: “Don’t be stupid, ya moron.”
It makes me want to scream: “Oh my dear Mr. Torre! Wherefore art thou, Mr. Torre. Eh Tu, Mr. Torre? Where have you gone, Mr. Torre?” and many other literary cliches to add to my disappointment and betrayal.
The class and indispensable dignity in which Joe Torre veraciously carries himself has all but gone out the window with the tellings of this tell-all tall-tale. The man who awoken a sleeping giant befuddled with 18 years of pennant-less baseball and turned himself into a demigod in New York has let Tom Verducci cheapen his accomplishments with the writing of The Yankee Years. Recanting how teammates do not trust Alex Rodriguez and call him “A-Fraud”, painting A-Rod as a jealous younger sibling in his relationship with Derek Jeter and ultimately suggesting how Brian Cashman publicly aligned with Torre to stay on as manager and then secretly plotted against him in back room dealings to keep his own job safe are stories and accusations that should have been kept in the clubhouse of the Old Yankee Stadium. At least for a while.
Where there’s money to be made, one should make it. Especially in this economy, you cannot blame Joe Torre for putting out this book. But for us here in New York, this is looked upon as the same treachery as Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. And even though I am not calling for the electric chair, I believe it was irresponsible for him to print these stories while many of the main characters are still playing. Let the memories of the dynasty fade away before the turmoil spills over. It’s just too early.
So while Joe Torre soaks up the sun while riding around in his new convertible, which coincidentally is insured by State Farm, I would like to leave him with some other words of wisdom from my old man:
“Shut up and sit down!”