While today marks the official release of Joe Torre and Tom Verducci’s “The Yankee Years,” it also is release day for Jane Heller’s delightful “Confessions of a She-Fan.”She isn’t just a best-selling reader – she’s a Yankee fan and Squawker reader!
“Confessions of a She-Fan” is the real Yankee-related book readers should pick up today. I will write up my review soon, but in the meantime, I encourage you to check out this book, and her websites: Confessions of a She-Fan and JaneHeller.com.
On another note, Squawker reader/Red Sox fan Bob Ekstrom has some thoughts on the state of the Yankees. He also gave us a shout-out at BostonSportsMedia.com. Here’s what he thinks of the Torre book.
From The Fens: Bad Stuff ’Bout The Yanks
Lightning crashes. An old writer dies.
In eulogizing John Updike, Big League Stew ascribes his essay on Ted Williams’ final game as perhaps the greatest of all time. ’Duk even links to a Harvard grad student’s blog to confirm it. Mind you, neither blogger in any way qualifies his superlative. It’s not the greatest baseball essay ever, but simply, the greatest.
Updike put the Lyric Little Bandbox in our ballpark on Yawkey Way and it’s a moniker we in New England endear. As venue nicknames go, we prefer it to The House That Ruth Built, seeing as it was the Red Sox who built Ruth in the first place, then sold him off to aid and abet our enemy. It should have been The House That Frazee Built all along.
No matter. Whoever built it, it’s in rubles now. No, not literally. But with his tell-all debut, Joe Torre accomplishes in one off-season what it took Red Sox Nation 86 years – and will take Mayor Bloomberg another 16 months – to do. He has razed The House That Ruth Built.
Torre may lack those Updikian traits the New York Times calls “protean and lyrical,” but times are different now. In an age of steroids, plasma TV, and when a movie like Saw can garnish four sequels, it’s clear we want to be hit over the head with our entertainment, not to have to pan for it through the prosaic dust of a bygone era. We need shock, and that’s why Torre’s tale will engage us.
Not since Chico Escuela has an author rattled the Apple to such a degree. But this isn’t about taking up two parking spaces or stealing Chico’s soap. This is an epic of betrayal, of name-slinging, of another man rubbing liniment on Roger Clemens’ testicles. Frankly, I’m not sure how anyone could even find Clemens’ testicles by now.
In a Red Sox Nation mocked by a tolerance of its eccentric superstars, Torre’s accounts will create backups stretching out to the curbs that front every bookstore from Harvard Square to Southie. We will relish this light of truth that exposes the Empire as a collection of a hundred Manny-doms of its own. We will relive with gusto that final day when Yankee brass let its greatest post-Stengel skipper flee the Bronx. And, with eyes wide open, we will see the dirty laundry of a team that is apparently no more sacrosanct than our own.
But even as we embrace its entertainment value, Yankee Fan should regard Torre’s work as a catharsis. Isn’t it far better to empty old Yankee Stadium’s bowels of these dark secrets than to transport them across East 161st where they would take up residence along with a legion of buried Big Papi shirts, destined to forever curse this fabled franchise from tucked-away shadows?
Nor should you slay the messenger; if it weren’t for Torre, your Got Rings? shirts would be far more stark. Of course, those tees wouldn’t exist were it not for Boston’s 2004 comeback against the Torre Bombers but, hey, it was Mo Rivera that persisted in throwing over to first to help Dave Roberts get warmed up, not Torre. And Lisa, we can’t blame him for not doing more to bring Jeter and A-Rod together when – from Verducci’s fingertips to our ears – St. Joe reportedly needed a crowbar to separate them.
Better make that from Torre’s mouth to our ears because, as of Friday, we can’t blame Verducci anymore. Joe acquitted him of any misinterpretation by ratifying his complete account on Larry King Live. So today, when we can finally read it for ourselves, there will be no doubt about the source. Nor the authenticity.
Lightning crashes. A new writer’s rise.
What do you think? Leave us a comment!