Synopses & Reviews
Twelve straight playoff appearances. Six American League pennants. Four World Series titles. This is the definitive story of a dynasty: the Yankee years
When Joe Torre took over as manager of the New York Yankees in 1996, the most storied franchise in sports had not won a World Series title in eighteen years. The famously tough and mercurial owner, George Steinbrenner, had fired seventeen managers during that span. Torres appointment was greeted with Bronx cheers from the notoriously brutal New York media, who cited his record as the player and manager who had been in the most Major League games without appearing in a World Series
Twelve tumultuous and triumphant years later, Torre left the team as the most beloved and successful manager in the game. In an era of multimillionaire free agents, fractured clubhouses, revenue-sharing, and off-the-field scandals, Torre forged a team ethos that united his players and made the Yankees, once again, the greatest team in sports. He won over the media with his honesty and class, and was beloved by the fans.
But it wasnt easy.
Here, for the first time, Joe Torre and Tom Verducci take us inside the dugout, the
clubhouse, and the front office in a revelatory narrative that shows what it really took to keep the Yankees on top of the baseball world. The high-priced ace who broke down in tears and refused to go back to the mound in the middle of a game. Constant meddling from Yankee executives, many of whom were jealous of Torres popularity. The tension that developed between the old guard and the free agents brought in by management. The impact of revenue-sharing and new scouting techniques, which allowed other teams to challenge the Yankees dominance. The players who couldnt resist the after-hours temptations of the Big Apple. The joys of managing Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, and the challenges of managing Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi. Torres last year, when constant ultimatums from the front office, devastating injuries, and a freak cloud of bugs on a warm September night in Cleveland forced him from a job he loved.
Through it all, Torre kept his calm, kept his players respect, and kept winning.
And, of course, The Yankee Years chronicles the amazing stories on the diamond. The stirring comeback in the 1996 World Series against the heavily favored Braves. The wonder of 1998, when Torre led the Yanks to the most wins in Major League history. The draining and emotional drama of the 2001 World Series. The incredible twists and turns of the epic Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series against the Red Sox, in which two teams who truly despised each other battled pitch by pitch until the stunning extra-inning home run.
Here is a sweeping narrative of Major League Baseball in the Yankee era, a book both grand in its scope and fascinating in its details.
"Surprisingand#8230;brutally honestand#8230;Franconaand#8217;s tenure included the highest-high, the first Red Sox title in 86 years and the lowest-low when a collapse kept the team from the playoffs that led to the manager's ouster." and#8211; USA Today
"The long-awaited memoirand#8230;Itand#8217;s not often that baseball aficionados and gossip gluttons can plunk down on a shared portion of outfield grass with the same book for an afternoon of readerly delight, but Francona
can bridge those kinds of differences." and#8211; Boston Globe
"Terry Francona's new book is not only a must read, but it is a fascinating and entertaining look into the daily life on Yawkey Way during that memorable time period...full of surprising and fun anecdotesand#8230;There are glimpses of his relationships with the players and#8211; good and badand#8230;and in most cases Shaughnessyand#8217;s thorough reporting includes perspective from the players, executives and owners." and#8211; MLB.com "A scorched-earth memoir and#8230;[that] touches fleetingly on steroid use, sabermetrics and Michael Jordanand#8217;s stint in the minor leaguesand#8230;but saves is heaviest artillery for the ownersand#8230;[and] Theo Epstein backs him up." and#8211; New York Times Book Review
"A good read, well worth it for any Red Sox fan or anyone interested in the last decade of baseball. Francona and Shaughnessy tell how the Red Sox became champions and also how it all fell apart." and#8211; CBSSports.com "A great readand#8230;good fun and dishy." and#8211; NBCSports.com "A bombshell." and#8211; Comcast Sports "Francona: The Red Sox Years
is a compelling behind-the-scenes depictionand#8230;of an eight-year period that witnessed both the most spectacular successes in franchise history as well as some of the most devastating failures." and#8211; WEEI.com "An exhilarating and torturous recounting of Francona's eight-year run as the Red Sox managerand#8230;He knows how the game is supposed to be played, and how the players are supposed to actand#8230;Francona gets it. That's what the book reveals most." and#8211; The News Herald
"An often hilarious but never salacious peek behind clubhouse doorsand#8230;much of the bookand#8217;s advance buzz has focused on managementand#8217;s backward emphasis on sizzleand#8230;but itand#8217;s the candor, often delivered with deft humor, about the players that will appeal to Red Sox fans. " and#8211; Chad Finn, Boston Globe
"Reveals [Franconaand#8217;s] favorite highs from his historic stint with the team, and how he dealt with the crushing lows." and#8211; Menand#8217;s Health
"A fascinating and detailed look at how a franchise so desperate to win big and attract huge television ratings can lose its soul in the process." and#8211; Terry Pluto, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Franconaand#8217;s depiction of the Boston organizationand#8230;provides insightand#8230;[and] cements every perception we have of a dysfunctional Red Sox hierarchyand#8230;internal proof that the Red Sox were forcing business wants on their baseball needs purely in the name of greed." and#8211; Tony Massarotti, Boston.com "You donand#8217;t have to like the Red Sox to enjoy this book. Francona: The Red Sox Years
shows the managerand#8217;s true grit. Francona
puts the reader behind the scenes in the often fiery, turbulent, never dull world of the Red Soxand#8230;It is vintage Francona, earthy blunt, comical and disarmingand#8230; Francona and Shaughnessy together tell the story of a gritty baseball lifer who brought untold joy to Red Sox Nation, and Shaughnessy has captured Francona, warts and all." and#8211; Tampa Bay Tribune
"Revenge is a dish best served cold? So is a tell-all book, even if it doesnand#8217;t tell all. But Terry Francona tells enough in his new book with longtime Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy to take us into places with the Red Sox that the camera never goesand#8230;.through the deft hands of the very accomplished Shaughnessy, Francona
is also very insightful into and#8230; the pressures of managing in a white-hot media market like Boston." and#8211; Providence Journal
"Even Yankees fans are going to want to read this Red Sox book." and#8211; NY Daily News
"There are terrific anecdotesand#8230;the language is course and the opinions unfiltered. But for fans who want more than the team-approved version of events, itand#8217;s a fun read. Just how much Francona loves baseball and the people in the game comes through. For years, you had to wonder what Francona really thought. Weand#8217;ll probably never know 100 percent, but this book gets you very close. My thoughts after finishing the book? Good luck to John Farrell." and#8211; Peter Abraham, Boston Globe
"A searing indictment of Red Sox ownershipand#8230;.Red Sox Nation is eating up this new bookand#8230; Franconaand#8217;s account of big shots screwing up is exquisite off-season sport." and#8211; Publishers Weekly
"A 349-page firebombing." and#8211; Gerry Callahan, Boston Herald
"The hottest sports book on the market." and#8211; Steve Buckley, BostonHerald.com
"This is the best book looking inside the mind of a big-league manager I have ever read, because Francona is sharp and loves the game, because Shaughnessy is eloquent and a dazzling storyteller." - Philadelphia Inquirer
Written as a third-person narrative with "Sports Illustrated" senior baseball writer Verducci, "The Yankee Years" is a thoughtful, honest, and gripping behind-the-scenes look at the Yankees' organization from Torre, the most successful baseball manager of the modern era.
The definitive story of one of the greatest dynasties in baseball history, Joe Torre's New York Yankees.
When Joe Torre took over as manager of the Yankees in 1996, they had not won a World Series title in eighteen years. In that time seventeen others had tried to take the helm of America’s most famous baseball team. Each one was fired by George Steinbrenner. After twelve triumphant seasons—with twelve straight playoff appearances, six pennants, and four World Series titles—Torre left the Yankees as the most beloved manager in baseball. But dealing with players like Jason Giambi, A-Rod, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Roger Clemens, and Randy Johnson is what managing is all about. Here, for the first time, Joe Torre and Tom Verducci take readers inside the dugout, the clubhouse, and the front office, showing what it took to keep the Yankees on top of the baseball world.
The bestselling story of Terry Francona's tenure as manager of the Boston Red Sox.
andquot;This is the best book looking inside the mind of a big-league manager I have ever read, because Francona is sharp and loves the game, because Shaughnessy is eloquent and a dazzling storyteller.andquot;andmdash;Philadelphia Daily News
When Terry Francona took over as manager of the Boston Red Sox in 2004, the storied franchise hadnandrsquo;t won a World Series championship in eighty-six years. Led by Francona, the team won two over the course of four years. During the full eight years of Franconaandrsquo;s tenure, the Red Sox were transformed from andldquo;cursedandrdquo; into one of the most successful and profitable teams in baseball historyandmdash;only to fall back to last place as soon as Francona was gone.
Francona: The Red Sox Years lets readers in on the inner workings of the Red Sox clubhouse like no book has ever done before. From the highs of the World Series to the lows of the final months of the 2011 seasonandmdash;the most epic collapse of a team in baseball historyandmdash;this book features the never-before-told stories about Sox fansandrsquo; favorite players, moments, wins, and losses.
andldquo;A scorched-earth memoir . . . [that] touches fleetingly on steroid use, sabermetrics, and Michael Jordanandrsquo;s stint in the minor leagues . . . but saves its heaviest artillery for the owners . . . [and] Theo Epstein backs him up.andrdquo;andmdash;New York Times Book Review
andldquo;Itandrsquo;s not often that baseball aficionados and gossip gluttons can plunk down on a shared portion of outfield grass with the same book for an afternoon of readerly delight, but Francona can bridge those kinds of differences.andrdquo;andmdash;Boston Globe
An insightful, honest, and entertaining narrative of Terry Francona's tenure with the Red Sox franchise, during which time he managed two teams to World Series victories (including their first inand#160;eighty-six years) and oversaw some of the most iconic and colorful players in the game.
From 2004 to 2011, Terry Francona managed the Boston Red Sox, perhaps the most scrutinized team in all of sports. During that time, every home game was a sellout. Every play, call, word, gestureand#8212;on the field and offand#8212;was analyzed by thousands. And every decision was either genius, or disastrous. In those eight years, the Red Sox were transformed from a cursed franchise to one of the most successful and profitable in baseball historyand#8212;only to fall back to last place as soon as Francona was gone. Now, in Francona: The Red Sox Years
, the decorated manager opens up for the first time about his tenure in Boston, unspooling the narrative of how this world-class organization reached such incredible highs and dipped to equally incredible lows. But through it all, there was always baseball, that beautiful game of which Francona never lost sight.
As no book has ever quite done before, Francona escorts readers into the rarefied world of a twenty-first-century clubhouse, revealing the mercurial dynamic of the national pastime from the inside out. From his unique vantage point, Francona chronicles an epic era, from 2004, his first year as the Sox skipper, when they won their first championship in 86 years, through another win in 2007, to the controversial September collapse just four years later. He recounts the tightrope walk of managing unpredictable personalities such as Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez and working with Theo Epstein, the general managing phenom, and his statistics-driven executives. It was a job that meant balancing their voluminous data with the emotions of a 25-man roster. It was a job that also meant trying to meet the expectations of three owners with often wildly differing opinions. Along the way, readers are treated to never-before-told stories about their favorite players, moments, losses, and wins.
Ultimately, when for the Red Sox it became less about winning and more about making money, Francona contends they lost their way. But it was an unforgettable, endlessly entertaining, and instructive time in baseball history, one that is documented and celebrated in Francona, a book that examines like no other the art of managing in todayand#8217;s game.
About the Author
Terry "Tito" Francona was a first baseman and outfielder in the majors from 1981 to 1990. After retiring as a player, he managed several minor league teams in the 1990s before managing the Philadelphia Phillies for four seasons. In 2004, Francona was hired to manage the Boston Red Sox, and that year he led the team to its first World Series championship since 1918. He won another World Series with Boston in 2007 and continued to manage the team until the end of the 2011 season. He is now a commentator for ESPN, joining in on their Sunday Night Baseball telecast and contributing to ESPN.com.Dan Shaughnessy is an award-winning columnist for the Boston Globe and the author of several sports books, including The Curse of the Bambino, a best-selling classic. Seven times Shaughnessy has been voted one of Americaand#8217;s top ten sports columnists by Associated Press Sports Editors and named Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year. He has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Early Show, CNN, Nightline, NPR, Imus in the Morning, ESPN, HBO, and many others. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts.