* Torre book finds an Angell

March 10, 2009

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t go back to a review of The Yankee Years; that so over. But I’ll make an exception for Roger Angell.

The veteran sportswriter praises the work of both Torre and Verducci (“Verducci has range and ease; he’s a shortstop on the page.”)

In the book, it’s a rush when you reach those latter-nineties or millennial late-inning Yankee explosions and Stadium-shaking endings, ….Hold it right there—only you can’t. The two biggest games in the book by far are Yankee defeats….

Illustration by Mark Ulriksen

Other great Angell lines:

  • “The Steinbrenner obsession to win infects the Torre story like arsenic in a tenement flat.”
  • “He never turned on one of his players in front of the media, and if he shows a bit more candor in the book, he remains a class act, as before.”
  • “Less kindly teammates called [Alex Rodriguez] A-Fraud—a line that was seized upon and blown large by the tabloids when the first copies of “The Yankee Years” turned up, and attributed by inference to Torre [emphasis added]. It appears to have been a clubhouse joke, part of the open baiting that Rodriguez routinely endured.”

And finally,

  • “[Torre is] better off where he is, away in the wrong time zone. He’s a cinch for the Hall of Fame—as a manager, not a player—whenever he’s ready to retire, and he’s already in the Grownups Hall of Fame, which has a few more members than the one in Cooperstown but tougher admission standards.

One last note: I’ve been enjoying Angell’s work for more than 30 years now, and this is the first time I can recall his dropping the “F-bomb.”

Good for him.

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  • * Pat H.

    Why good for him for ‘dropping the f-bomb’?

  • Actually, Angell didn’t use it himself; it was a paraphrase of something Torre had said.

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