Thursday, May 14, 2009

Joe Torre: Baseball Man Until the End

Joe Torre is in the middle of another steroid blowup. This time involving his star player in Los Angeles, Manny Ramirez, who was suspended for 50 games last week. Steroids and a Torre press conference aren't new, since he was by Jason Giambi's side during Giambi's New York PED "apology." As before, Torre knows nothing of roids in baseball. Odd, he seems to be the only one who thinks that way. The incredible and truly unbelievable coincidence is that Torre never suspected that anyone was using roids on any of his teams, even though 8 members of his 2000 World Series Yankee team were named in the Mitchell Report.

In numerous appearances promoting his book that he "co-wrote" with Tom Verducci, The Yankee Years, Torre claimed he didn't know that any of his Yankee players were roiding out of their minds. However, David Cone, in Torre's book said that most players knew that some players were using PED's, especially the ones working with trainer Brian McNamee. That's an odd discrepancy and one a reader would like addressed, but it never happened.

Further making Torre's naiveté on this issue the more puzzling is the fact that he was a former player. He earned the MVP award at the age of 30 and then saw his statistics take a sharp decline. How could some of the players he manged get better as they aged (Ramirez and Roger Clemens) while he did not? His career stats are below:

In his latest roid episode, in a Sports Illustrated article Torre said, "There's a human being (Ramirez) there I'm concerned about." Are you kidding me? Torre concerned about a human being? Where was the concern for his players who were roiding out of their minds back in the day? How about taking a stand and telling his players to stop using? Reminding his players that PED's are harmful to your bodies long term.

The reason Torre never asked questions or took a stand looking out for the "human beings" in his clubhouse is because he likes baseball. He likes managing. He wants to continue making millions of dollars (reportedly his deal with the Dodgers was $13 million for three years). If he were to question his players, make them stop using PED's, his team would lose games, potentially costing Joe Torre his job and millions of dollars.

A baseball man through and through...a roll model for the kids, that's a different question.

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