By now we've all gotten the message that the Yankees aren't happy about the way they're being portrayed in Joe Torre's new book. From the excerpts that have been published, they've got good reason to be peeved, but you'd think that this would eventually roll off the back of adults who clearly made a choice to move on from their relationship with Torre shortly after the 2007 season came to an end.
That doesn't appear to be the case. Newsday is reporting that the Yankees are mulling the idea of making confidentiality agreements a part of all future playing and managerial contracts. Members of the front office are already prohibited from doing anything that reveals "proprietary knowledge of our business model," according to the paper's source. The proposed clause would be designed to ensure future books are "positive in tone," and "do not breach the sanctity of our clubhouse."
There's no argument with the proprietary knowledge business. Every company with something to protect, from Kentucky Fried Chicken to Apple, is well within their rights to make sure that their secrets don't get out. The second part, however, is ridiculous.
If Derek Jeter wrote a book and included a story of how Torre once told him that he was a special player after a World Series game it would be positive in tone but it would also breach the sanctity of the clubhouse. What if CC Sabathia spoke generally about his problems with the Yankee management without mentioning any specific stories that occured behind the scenes? That seems unenforceable, especially when they are already out of contract with the Yankees.
Players and managers are going to give interviews and write books after they leave the Yankees. While it's surprising that Torre spoke out like this, the things he actually said don't exactly shake the ground. He didn't like the way the Yankees handled his departure? A-Rod is aloof? Carl Pavano was a disaster? These aren't the codes to the nuclear missiles, here.
The Yankees can be upset and can banish Torre from all the Old Timers Days and ceremonies they like, but turning the team into a police state is going way too far.