Vaccaro: Torre ruined his legacy

Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post writes that Joe Torre has ruined his legacy in the wake of his new book, which trashes Yankee management and takes shots his former players like Alex Rodriguez.

Joe TorreThis book of yours, “The Yankee Years,” is that classy, Joe? Does it dignify what those 12 remarkable years were to baseball, to this city and, not incidentally, to your career? Was it necessary to air the fact that his teammates call Alex Rodriguez – an awfully easy target, by the way, Joe, and also a guy who won two MVPs while playing for you – “A-Fraud,” or to liken him to the crazed Jennifer Jason Leigh character in “Single White Female”?

Seriously, Joe. Did you even see “Single White Female”?

Why would you take shots at Brian Cashman? All he did during that lengthy post-2000 time, when you weren’t winning championships, was defend you exhaustively – to fans, to the press, to fellow Yankee executives, to various and sundry Steinbrenners, to your old front-office pal Randy Levine.

You never much cared to admit this, Joe, but Cashman was your boss. He could have sold you out. He didn’t.

Cashman deserved better, Joe. So did the Yankees. And, most important, so did you. You transformed yourself as a Yankee, earned yourself a certain Hall of Fame plaque.

There were lots of people who thought you were exiled wrongly in 2007, who winced when you hinted at a possible grudge with the Yankees, who figured, no, Joe is bigger than that. Joe is better than that.

Were we really that wrong, Joe? Really?

If you wanted to hurt the Yankees, Joe, understand this: Yesterday at Legends Field in Tampa, workers were manicuring the field, watering the lawn, getting ready for another spring training once the Super Bowl leaves town.

At the minor-league complex just down Dale Mabry Boulevard, kids were working out. Jorge Posada was said to have taken some swings. Derek Jeter will be here this week.

The Yankees have moved on, Joe. Isn’t it time you did, too?

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – this doesn’t seem like Joe’s style.

I haven’t read the book, but already this doesn’t seem like a classy way to go about things. No matter how wronged Torre believes he was by the Yankees, you always take the high road. Most people in New York were going to remember Joe as the World Series-winning manager in pinstripes – and they still might. But this book definitely casts a shadow over Torre’s great career. Instead of remembering how great of a manager he was in the Bronx, people are going to point to when he called Alex Rodriguez, “A-Fraud” in his book. Is that how Joe wanted to be remembered?

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