United States Sports Academy
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The Sport Digest - ISSN: 1558-6448

Book Review: The Yankee Years (2009) by Torre, Joe & Verducci, Tom

The Yankee Years gives an in depth review of Joe Torre’s stint as the manager of the New York Yankees. The highly successful run of Torre’s early years with the organization (Four World Championships from 1996-2000) contrasts his later years and the events that led to his downfall. Students involved in sport management have an opportunity to examine the relationships between administrative positions-Manager, General Manager, and Owner-of the most famous professional sport organization in the world.

The authors of the book explain the player management process which is the underlying determinant of a professional sport organization’s success. The intricacies of the core group of players that led the Yankee organization to four world championships is discussed at length. The achievement of early success in Torre’s tenure becomes a strain for the organization as they continually fail to reach earlier success by purchasing championships with high-priced free agents and other players that are not solely motivated by winning-the core motivation of players on those championship teams. The management of the organizations shows that without strong core evaluations in player personnel and statistical, it is not only impossible to attain success but can also lead to downturn of an organization even one with the wealth of the Yankees. Statistical measurements used in baseball for player evaluation, free-agency, revenue sharing, and personal trainers are all topics that examined by the authors in regards to the Yankee organization. Readers will gain valuable insight on each of these topics as they relate to professional sport organizations.

The reviewer strongly recommends this book for students involved in sport coaching and sport management programs. Because this book evaluates decisions made by management and the coaching staff students can use this book in the same terms as a case study. Whether students are involved in professional sport or amateur sport, they can attain valuable information from reading this book that they can use in their respective fields.