Michael Kay (Again) Bothers Me

Pete Abraham had a link to a short but good story that Neil Best of Newsday had on Kay and Joe Torre. The URL for it is below:


In it, Kay took “St. Joe” to task for calling his former players Posada and Pettite during their respective travails this season. “I don’t think he’s doing anything in his mind that’s wrong. But he shouldn’t be calling players from other teams in my opinion,” Kay is quoted as saying.

I couldn’t disagree more. Exactly what is the harm in it? I realize there is the (extremely remote) possibility of a guy like Torre using any kernel of information gleaned from such a long-standing and personal relationship against the Yankees, except the Yankees and Dodgers don’t play this year and Torre is managing the Dodgers in a completely different league. Also, as anyone who has watched players chatter around the batting cage and during pre-game drills, not to mention in-game discussion knows, the rule that players from opposing teams shall not fraternize at any time while in uniform is routinely broken through endless rounds of jocularity (Rule 3.09).

More importantly, and perhaps this was implicit in Kay’s comment about Torre doing nothing wrong in his own mind, but how does Kay fail to assess the influence Torre’s paternal side showing here? Can anyone question whether or not Torre genuinely loves these guys? He showed it and said as much while managing the Yankees for a dozen tremendous years, and good for him for doing so. I have no doubt that the feelings from most of his former players were mutual. Torre’s unfortunate personal history probably factors in here as well. According to his wife Ali, he struggled a bit as a father in his first marriage, no doubt the result of the physical abuse of his mother that he regularly witnessed and the emotional and psychological abuse he and his siblings endured–all from his own father. I can’t be told for a second that this neither factors into Torre’s showing his emotions especially with people he coached–and watched mature, i.e. grow up, as players–nor that there is anything wrong with that. It took him a long time to be a good, relaxed father. These were personal calls with people about whom he evidently cares deeply, probably very much as a father would his sons. Have Posada and Pettite been harmed in any way? Has the integrity of the franchise somehow been breached? Torre was being a good friend, human being, and quite likely father figure to people he will probably always be close to. The allusion of impropriety is what exactly?

Please, I pray to you St. Michael, give it a stinking rest.

Published in: on May 8, 2008 at 11:57 am  Leave a Comment  

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