Friday, November 2, 2007

Kay Rips Torre

Michael Kay on his ESPN radio show the other day:

"There are things about Joe Torre, if I wanted to come out and say, would show how cold and calculated he really is . . . Joe Torre is for Joe Torre. ... The graveyard of Yankees coaches is loaded with bones of coaches Joe Torre did nothing about."

I'm not going to jump on Kay for saying that. Strong opinions are good fun! Even if they constitute a bit of hyperbole, comments like Kay's are the sorts that lead, eventually -- once less-impassioned analysts and historians investigate the basis for them -- to a more realistic and nuanced view of guys we are always too quick to deify. Torre probably has a lot of faults. Someday, when someone writes the definitive Derek Jeter biography or something, we'll learn about them, and we'll probably have things like Kay's swipe to thank for them because they'll get someone thinking about whether Joe really is just for Joe.

Now, why Kay never felt it necessary to say such a thing until Torre was already out the door is another matter, but media criticism isn't my strongest suit, so I'll leave that to someone else.


Jonathan Kay said...

Shyster, now that Joe is gone it is more OK for Kay to rip Torre because they are no longer the member of the same orginization. It would be hard for someone as public a figure as Kay to publicly critize him, but now that he is gone it is OK. Think if Tikki Barber as a reporter for Good Morning America critizing Eli's leadership skills.

Shyster said...

I think it's different than Tiki, Jonathan, because I wasn't aware that announcers and reporters working for YES were considered teammates of players and coaches on the Yankees. Sure, they are owned by the same parent, but FOX used to own the Dodgers and Time Warner owned the Braves, and no one expected talking heads from those organizations to refrain from offering opinions about their corporate cousins.

At the end of the day the question is whether we are fine with YES being the publicity arm of the Yankees or, alternatively, we expect them to have more independence. If the latter -- and there are perfectly legitimate arguments for it -- we need to stop pretending that the Michael Kays of the world are, in fact, journalists or any kind, because right now they hold themselves out to be.