Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Boogie Down Book Club: The Yankee Years - Chapter 2 (Part 1)

I finally got to get back into Joe Torre and Tom Verducci's The Yankee Years, albeit not much more. I'm about halfway through chapter 2. Between catching up on TV shows, hanging out with my 17 month old, and trying to build my Diamond Mind Baseball team into a contender. I'm actually talking shop right now trying to trade Oliver Perez and a draft pick for either Matt Garza, Carlos Zambrano, or Dan Haren. Wish me luck. I mentioned in my last entry, I'm not a fan of long chapters and chapter 2 clocks in at about 44 pages, give or take (Jane- I'll definitely pick up your book at some point--I love me short chapters). I'm currently about halfway through chapter 2 and had to stop to talk trade. I'm not planning on picking it up again tonight so I'm splitting it up into 2 parts.

Chapter 2 focuses on what is arguably one of the best teams of all time, the 1998 Yankees. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite books and I haven't even gotten to the much-hyped "good stuff." One of my favorite books of all-time was Buster Olney's The Last Night Of The Yankee Dynasty. I love being able to read about the players and what goes on. The Yankee Years is taking it to a whole new level. I enjoyed reading about the meeting the team had in Seattle when they struggled out of the gate. I always knew David Cone was an integral part of the Yankees' success but I didn't know how much he was until I read the chapter. It's great getting such detailed insight from the guys that were involved with the team. I'm looking forward to reading more of the same as I get deeper into the book.

Perhaps my favorite part of the book so far was written on the last 2 pages I read, which were pages 59 and 60. Torre recounts his morning on the day of game 4 of the 1998 ALCS, when the Yankees were down 2 games to 1 to the Indians. He went to the hotel coffee shop for breakfast where he noticed a man with a shaved head busing tables and helping to serve the customers. He thought the man looked familiar and he was right. It was El Duque, who was scheduled to start that night's game! I read that and I couldn't help but laugh. I can't for the life of me picture walking into a hotel coffee shop and seeing a major league pitcher helping out, especially on the morning of his playoff start. Classic. You learn something new every day.

The trade talks have been tabled for the night and will resume tomorrow. I often drift off to sleep pondering deals that can be done. I wonder if big league GMs do the same??

Peace, love and Pinstripes,