The Yankees value their history more than anyone outside of Western Europe. They've built an entire television network out of 26 World Series titles, the iconic players of every generation and the idea that being a Yankee means more than being a player or manager for other baseball teams. The ultimate level of that conceit is Monument Park.
You can be a great player and not get a bust beyond the left-centerfield wall. You can't be a capital Y Yankee legend, though. The guys who trot out at the end of Old-Timer's day and throw out first pitches in the playoffs, the guys the Yankees use to remind their fans that they're paying high prices to watch something more than just a baseball team.
Joe Torre was destined to be one of those guys. Four world titles, 12 playoff appearances and a sure spot in the Hall of Fame are all things that well get you one of those busts. That bust would've come with a retired number, a platinum-plated pass to Yankee Stadium and the honored place now occupied by Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford. But all of that seems impossible now.
"The Yankee Years" makes it impossible. The Steinbrenner family figures to own the Yankees for quite a while longer and they aren't going to soon forget the way Torre talked out of school about them. They may have started the ball rolling when they left Torre out of the celebration that closed Yankee Stadium, but Torre picked it up and ran with it much farther than anyone can anticipated. Two wrongs don't make a right, but they also don't make a reconciliation.
The Yankees have been estranged from members of their past before and survived. Berra was absent from Yankee Stadium for nearly 15 years after George Steinbrenner fired him as the team's manager in 1985. History and tradition were still on display at every turn.
The last book that ripped the Yankees organization was "Ball Four." Jim Bouton didn't set foot in Yankee Stadium for 30 years after it was written. Which means, in other words, Joe Torre Day isn't happening any time soon.