Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rejected Joe Torre book pitches

I have a good friend who works in the New York Yankees' organization. He's not one for clubhouse gossip, as I imagine he likes cashing paychecks from one of the world's best-known sports franchises.

As such, I figured he might appreciate the following (maybe you will, too):

Pitch 2:
Set in New York City, in the late 1900’s, “The Yankee Years” is a first hand account of my life in the Bronx as the Yankees’ skipper. It covers it all, from the daily train rides to changing Don Zimmer’s diaper, this book bears my soul.

Rejection 2:
Thanks again, Joe, but we’re looking for something a little more interesting to the public. And a little less gross.

Pitch 4:
Set in early twentieth century New York, “The Yankee Years” is a first-hand account of the time I helped Alex Rodriguez break out of a June slump.

Rejection 4:
Joe, did you say Alex Rodriguez?

Pitch 7:
Set in the late-1900’s, The Yankee Years chronicles the rocky relationship between superstars, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.

Rejection 7:
Joe, could you be more specific? And possibly work a pun in there?

And so on.

That said, I've never understood why so many people seem to enjoy taking cheap shots at the A-Rod. It seems silly, it seems petty, it seems like jealousy. I wish people would stop. A-Rod has never been accused of taking PEDs, sabotaging his teammates or even slapping around his wife (infidelity is so common among us - humans - that it would seem silly for anyone to launch projectiles from their glass houses).

Sure, A-Rod seems a bit stilted and he seems to crave public approval. But I'm not so sure why that's a bad thing for a sports superstar. It would only make sense, right? I'd much rather deal with A-Rod than, say, Jeff Kent. And having once dealt with them both regularly in a professional capacity, I can say that with certainty.

Also, I'm reminded that I stopped reading autobiographies a loooooong time ago. There's only a handful I've read in my lifetime that were worth the effort - autobiographies of Barack Obama, Malcolm X and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar immediately come to my mind.

There's just not much to be learned in autobiographies, I think. I will allow that they can occasionally be interesting. But I find self-introspection seems to work best in practice and not necessarily on the page. I'm no big fan of one-sided stories or sales pitches. Not in my reading time, at least.

I say this because, as a kid, I once read Lawrence Taylor autobiography (the first of two) in which he seemed to be boasting that he'd finally cleaned up his Hall-of-Fame, off-the-field act. "Got some dope out of my system," he said matter-of-factly, over and over throughout the book.

I just wasn't sure who he was trying to convince. The book was published in 1987. It took him 11 years to live up to the claim he'd made in those pages.

All that to say, I'll probably pass on "The Yankee Years." Let's see how the story stands up to the test of time and, shall we say, peer review.

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