From Bob Klapisch (Bergen Record):
It’s not just that Torre crushes easy targets like Johnson and Pavano, it’s that he violated the sanctity of the clubhouse to plunge the knife deeper. By doing so, Torre is telling his present-day Dodgers that no anecdote or conversation will be off the record once he leaves the organization. None of his players could be blamed for keeping their distance; how could any of them trust Torre ever again?
Mussina said, “it’s not just what goes on in the clubhouse, it’s sitting on the bus, or if you’re out having lunch. As a ballplayer you need to know who you have to watch out for and who you can trust. First and foremost, you should be able to trust your manager.
“I mean, people knew that Brown was out there, and that Randy was ornery all the time. And Pavano is whoever he is. But if you’re their manager, you can’t go out and write about them like that.”
Mussina’s point can be boiled into a single indictment: you can’t just be the manager of the good soldiers, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. You have to lead them all — including the disturbed and unreliable ones. Actually, it was Torre’s mandate to especially act as a higher authority to players like Brown, Pavano, A-Rod and Gary Sheffield.
Klapisch and Mussina are dead on with their comments. This was the reason the Steinbrenner family stuck with Joe Torre. Everyone assumed that he was able to unify the clubhouse and manage the assorted personalities that come with all the superstars. However, in the end, it doesn’t seem like that was the case, really. He shunned A-Rod and he loved Jeter—it’s the perfect example. Maybe this is why Joe lost his luster in his final years with the team.
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