First of all, I'd like to thank Tom Verducci and Joe Torre for providing us all with some baseball news in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Normally, we'd have a quiet go of things here in MLB 'House, which is why we decided to run The Next Big Thing this week. Instead, we've got tons of juice -- and I'm not talking about Barry Bonds.
"[Joe Torre] should be called J-Fraud. He managed guys like Jeter - guys that were very easy to manage - those everyday players. But when there were guys under the bubble that were struggling, or basket cases like me I guess, he didn't want anything to do with us.
Joe, he wasn't tough on guys, he just treated you like crap. If you weren't in his little circle - the circle of trust - then he could care less about you. I've had quite a few confrontations with him. It's like guys get to fly early ... I had to fly with the team - it's stuff like that. If you're going to do it for one guy, you might as well do it for the rest, and that's what he didn't do with the majority of guys."
Wow, where to even begin? We've got a "Meet the Parents" reference, accusations of favoritism, and a really bad retaliatory nickname.
I guess I'll start with the "J-Fraud" thing. C'mon, David. You've gotta be better than that. A-Rod and A-Fraud rhyme. Re-using the "fraud" part on Torre is pretty uncreative. You've gotta use a rhyme or, at least, alliteration. May I suggest something like "Traitor Torre" for future interviews?
On a serious note, Torre's always gotten gobs of praise for being such a genius at dealing with all the big egos during the Yankees dynasty, but Wells seems to contradict those sentiments a bit here. Wells is alleging the people who had a great relationship with Torre -- Jeter, for example -- didn't really need much managing. The guys who did need managing, Wells implies, weren't paid their due attention by Torre. If this is all true, what the hell did Torre do worth our praise? Just watch a bunch of great players win him games?
For the record, I'm still reluctant to completely bash Torre in the wake of all this news. First of all, I'd like to actually read the book before drawing conclusions. After that, I'm not sure how much credibility David Wells has when it comes to tell-all books saying too much. Plus, if Torre did show favoritism to players other than a guy who proclaimed he pitched a no-hitter half-drunk -- and later backpedaled in the statement -- can you really blame him?
If nothing else, you'd at least be advised to not include David Wells in your circle of trust.