While we’re waiting for today’s lineup, here’s a quick video from yesterday’s Joe Torre press conference. The video above is Torre talking a little bit about his feelings when he first joined the Yankees.
But I also wanted to mention this.
Yesterday, Torre was asked a question about how difficult it would be for a manager today to have the run of success that he had during his time with the Yankees — so many titles in such a short window, making the playoffs so consistently — and while I took it to be a question primarily about competitive balance, Torre took a very different direction.
Here’s what Torre said:
“I was mentioning, I think it was to Michael Kay, how much tougher it is to do what Joe Girardi’s doing as the Yankees manager than I had. And it’s always a concern. I’ve always been one that always felt that it was a team sport, but there’s so much individual accomplishment that’s trumpeted. Not that that shouldn’t be the case in a lot of situations, but this group I had, nobody really cared who went to the All-Star Game. Nobody really cared who got the headline in the newspaper. It was all about just rolling up their sleeves and pretty much letting me decide on the direction we were going. And I wasn’t always right, but they always respected the fact that it was my decision. And I do think it’s going to be very hard to do what our Yankee teams accomplished.
“We’re a little impatient. We don’t want to wait for players to get to the big leagues to talk about their superstardom. We want to talk about it when they’re in the Futures Game or the minor leagues. I think it’s dangerous, I really do. I don’t think we’re doing these players any favors. Not that they won’t be worthy at some point, but I think it’s unfair to put that kind of a spotlight on them probably before they’re matured in this game. It takes a while to really get a taste for what this game is about and to recognize somebody other than yourself.
“… I had a unique group that just left their egos at the door. They had this inner conceit where they felt it, but they didn’t have to show everybody. That’s who they were. I think it’s tougher now. I really do. I use the term entitlement, but I don’t think it’s baseball. I think it’s generational. I can’t just say in our sport it’s this way. I think there’s a lot of education that needs to happen, and in my case, in my job, I’m trying to find a way where I can help contribute to that. That’s why I try to stay close with managers and even the Players’ Association because I think it’s just very, very important for the future of our sport to continue to have respect for game that it requires, that it needs, that it’s earned I think all of these years.”