What the heck is there to do when there is no more baseball on television? READ about baseball! I was at the library (remember those?) and picked up The Yankee Years by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci. Actually it should read "by Tom Verducci with Joe Torre as guest commentator but am putting him as first author because it will sell more."
Overall, it was actually a pretty entertaining read. The book traverses the Yankee years from 1995 to the year before Torre became the Dodgers manager when the Yankees went on that tear of 12 playoff appearances, 6 AL pennants, and 4 World Series titles. The first part of the book is actually more player interviews and a lot of insight by David Cone. It is always fun to read about the inside of a baseball clubhouse and the conversations that go on during the game - Kevin Brown breaking his hand during a game, Randy Johnson getting rattled in NY, Zimmer getting thrown to the ground by Pedro. Verducci also highlights the steroid scandal, the Red Sox romp, the Rodriquez rantings, the Steinbrenner superstitions, and the Joba journey (see Tom, I can do alliterations too!). It was somewhat sad to see how Torre viewed his dismissal from the Yankees after all of those great years. But I guess with the Yankees winning this year, it worked out for Steinbrenner.
I was also surprised to read a lot of former or current Dodgers named in the book - Joe Torre, Larry Bowa, Don Mattingly, Doug Mientkiewicz, Kevin Brown (ugh), Mariano Duncan, Karim Garcia, Nomar Garciaparra, Grady Little, Kenny Lofton, Derek Lowe, Adrian Beltre, Fred McGriff, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Mike Piazza, Manny Ramirez, Dave Roberts, Gary Sheffield, Darryl Strawberry, David Wells, Jeff Weaver, John Wetteland, and even yours truly (where's my residuals?). I thought Torre would delve more into his fight with cancer and some of this family's plight with the disease in order to raise awareness, but most of the book was all about baseball. I just wish that the Dodgers would go on a roll for 12 years and someone would write the book Dodger Days (and if you use that title, I get the residuals, right?). Go Blue!
Oh, one other observation I forgot to mention is that Torre swears like a sailor. It is sort of funny to see a guy that looks and acts like your grandpa and is so smooth with the media throw down the f bombs like no tomorrow.