Should Jeter defend A-Rod?

In the wake of Joe Torre’s new book set to hit the shelves on Tuesday, Wallace Matthews of Newsday writes that Derek Jeter should step up and publicly defend Alex Rodriguez as his teammate and captain.

Alex Rodriguez & Derek JeterNo one, of course, tells Derek Jeter what to do, and I don’t presume to try. But it is my considered opinion that Jeter can hide for only so long behind his stock answer, “I haven’t read the book yet.”

The book is out Tuesday. Time to start reading. And he doesn’t even have to read it to come out and say, simply: “Alex is my teammate. Alex is our guy. Everyone in this clubhouse stands behind him.”

And that has to include the captain. Because that’s what captains do.

And it’s the captain’s job to have his teammates’ backs, every one of them, even if it means taking a stand against a former manager and mentor. Torre isn’t a Yankee anymore, but Rodriguez is. The Yankees can win without Torre but not without A-Rod. For the good of his team, Captain Jeter had better choose which side of this argument he is on in a hurry.

And there would be no better time for him to announce his position than today, when Torre comes to town to kick off a media blitz designed to sell whatever odd copies of the book haven’t already been pre-ordered.

Today would be a fine day for Jeter to make himself available’ to the media, just to let everyone – and one guy in particular – know he’s got A-Rod’s back.

I agree to a point. As a leader, Jeter should stand up and defend his teammates and back them whenever they’re publicly criticized like A-Rod was in Torre’s book. But nobody knows what has really gone on in the Yankees’ clubhouse over the years and therefore nobody has the right to tell Jeter whom he should and shouldn’t defend.

Maybe A-Rod is the ultimate prick and he has already pissed Jeter off too many times to count. Maybe Jeter has already made an effort to back the guy and it’s come back to bit him in the ass. The point is, we don’t know what happens inside a clubhouse or what Jeter’s motivation is behind backing or not backing a teammate. And Jeter is a consummate pro so I wouldn’t question his motivates either way in a situation like this.

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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?

Joe Torre blasts A-Rod and Yankee management in new book

Dodgers’ skipper Joe Torre decided to write a book. And then ripped his former employer and at least one former player in said book.

Joe TorreIn an explosive new book called “The Yankee Years,” Torre gets most personal in his attacks against Alex Rodriguez, who he says was called “A-Fraud” by his teammates after he developed a “Single White Female”-like obsession with team captain Derek Jeter and asked for a personal clubhouse assistant to run errands for him.

Torre, who left the Yankees and became manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers after the 2007 season, says Cashman never told the brass that the manager wanted a two-year deal and instead remained silent during Torre’s tense final sitdown with the bosses.

The 477-page tell-all, which The Post purchased from a city bookstore last week, is written by co-author Tom Verducci, a longtime Sports Illustrated reporter.

Torre recounts his 12-year career in New York through interviews. It is being published by Doubleday.
Torre spent years trying to bring out a winning performance from A-Rod, the highest-paid player in baseball, which from all reported accounts included a lot of hand-holding and battling the insecurities and demons Rodriguez struggles with.

And while the Bombers would win four world championships under Torre’s watch by 2000, there were years of tension over management’s choice of players and the growing silence between him and Yankee brass.

Torre’s exit in the fall of 2007 came after a 20-minute meeting over his contract with Steinbrenner and other Yankee officials at the team’s Tampa, Fla., office.

At the time, the skipper was coming off a tough and highly scrutinized season. He was seeking a two-year contract with the possibility of a buyout.

Boy, how bad did the Yankee front office brass piss Torre off if he was compelled enough to write a 477-page tell-all? Joe doesn’t seem to be the type that would air secrets about his former club publicly, but this is a man that believes he wasn’t treated right in the end and obviously this is his retaliation.

And once again A-Rod gets blasted, although this has to be the worst. Having your former manager call out your love affair with Derek Jeter? Ouch.

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