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Early review of 'The Yankee Years'

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by the Times' Jack Curry -

In 12 years of managing Jeter, Torre said the only time he ever had to reprimand Jeter was for flipping balls behind his back during infield practice. Talk about a manager’s pet.

- Randy Johnson is a future Hall of Famer, but Torre was startled by how unnerved the pitcher sometimes was.

“The biggest surprise to me was how Randy Johnson could get rattled,” Torre said. “I wish we knew this about him in the 2001 World Series when we played against him. You could rattle him. Every start with Randy, it would be, ‘This guy has my pitches, that guy has my pitches …’”

There’s no question that New York is a different place to play. Everything you do is magnified and criticized. He was uncomfortable pitching in New York.”

- Torre recalled how he told Cashman to unload Jeff Weaver after he allowed a game-ending homer in Game 4 of the 2003 World Series “because emotionally he can’t handle it, trying to come back from that.”

- Because Carl Pavano was constantly injured and unreliable, his teammates disliked him. Torre asked Cashman to have Pavano, who was on the disabled list, join the Yankees on a road trip at the end of 2006 so his teammates could harass him. Instead, the players ignored Pavano.

Torre recalled an instance where Joe Kerrigan, the bullpen coach, told the manager that Pavano said, “I’m not blowing my arm out for this organization.” So Torre met with Pavano and asked him a pertinent question.

“Pav, this organization gave you $40 million and has been patient with you,” Torre said. “What I want to know is, for what organization would you be willing to risk blowing out your arm?”

- "Alex is all about the game,” Torre continued. “He needs the game. He needs all of those statistics. He needs every record imaginable. And he needs people to make a fuss over him. And he’s always going to put up numbers because he’s too good. It means a lot to him, and good for him.”

Lots of interesting stuff. Can't wait to read it.