Any manager can reveal embarrassing things about his players. Most choose not to.
That's why the biggest surprise out of the Joe Torre book fuss is that Torre chose to co-author a book that landed him on the back page of the New York tabloids (and on the front page, too). Torre's biggest strength as Yankee manager was that he kept back-page controversies from developing. He made playing in New York as easy as possible, in large part because he kept it from becoming a circus.
Now he's all over the tabs, because of The Yankee Years , the book he wrote with Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci. And while Verducci told SI.com that "Joe Torre does not rip anybody in the book," the revelations and quotes were enough to stir up two days of un-Torre-like midwinter controversy.
It's a little much to say that the book ruins Torre's legacy with the Yankees, or even that it does serious damage to a relationship that was already strained. Remember, the Yankees chose to leave Torre out of last September's Yankee Stadium closing, long before anyone knew what he would write in this book.
As for his relationship with Alex Rodriguez, remember that it wasn't that great to start with. Remember that Torre famously batted A-Rod eighth in the Yankees' final playoff game in 2006, which was more embarrassing than anything he could write in a book.
No, the real question is why Torre suddenly decided to start sharing back pages with his former star?
Certainly, Torre didn't need the attention. You wouldn't think he needed the money.
Maybe he just got tired of holding it all in.