The last Yankees dynasty came 1996-2000 when they won four out of five World Series titles. The manager was Joe Torre and he recently joined Nothing Personal with David Samson on CBS Sports. Below are some of the notable podcast excerpts from Torre on his time with the dynasty.
On his favorite moment as Yankees manager, Torre discussed his first-ever World Series title, whether as a player, coach or manager.
“I saw Charlie Hayes catch the final out of the ’96 World Series. It’s vivid. I could put a picture on the wall and I could tell you who was there, who’s in the picture. Derek Jeter throwing his arms up like it was a field goal that was good. …That was it, that broke my schneid where I had never won a World Series, and my coaches just smothered me after that, which was pretty special.”
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Torre spoke about not getting angry at physical errors, but how much mental errors bothered him.
“Derek Jeter’s rookie year, we’re in Chicago playing the White Sox and he was on second base with two outs in the eighth inning. It’s either a tie score or down by one and Cecil Fielder is the hitter. The Cardinal Rule is you don’t make the first or third out at third base. He tries to steal. And I throw whatever I had in my hand, I’ll never forget, because he was out. There’s Cecil and he’s gonna lead off the ninth inning now instead of hitting with a man on second. I was mad at myself because I had given Jeter so much credit and so much trust that I didn’t put on a sign that said ‘don’t try to run.’ I remember saying to (bench coach Don) Zim(mer), ‘we have a game to try to win here, but we’ll talk to him tomorrow.'”
When Jeter came back to the dugout, he was accountable.
“He came over and basically shimmied in between Zim and I. He said ‘all right, whatever you wanna give me, give it to me.’ I hit him on the back and said ‘get outta here.’ He knew he screwed up and there was really no further conversation that was needed at the time.”
Superstars were treated just the same as everyone else.
“There was a day where I called out Derek and A-Rod in the same meeting. There was a pop up and it dropped. I chewed them out in front of everybody. I just felt like that was important that everyone needed to know that we’re all playing by the same rules and we all have to follow playing this game hard. I just felt everything was above board with my players.”
He made sure his players kept issues inside the clubhouse and not portray them through the media.
“I never told them not to talk to the press. I just sort of let them know ‘this is our business. I’m not telling you not to tell people anything, but this is our house.'”
On A-Rod and Jeter not getting along as teammates:
“That goes on with a lot of clubs. They were just high profile. If you look back at the Oakland club in the ’70s, they were battling in the clubhouse, but when they got between the lines, they played together as a team and that’s the most important thing. I’m not a believer that chemistry comes first, I’m a believer that winning creates that chemistry.”
That was such a key point that so many people get wrong. Every successful manager will tell you the same thing. Creating “chemistry” is nonsense. Teams just get along better when they win more games.
Torre joined the show on behalf of his Safe At Home Foundation, which is aimed at stopping the cycle of domestic abuse. For more, visit JoeTorre.org.