Okay, okay. One more (for now) Mitchell Report story.
This time, it’s a visit with our old friend Number Six. As you may recall, Joe Torre was the skipper of all of those Yankee teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s when many members of the teams were supposedly based on the testimony of one person using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
Torre, with his Hall of Fame spot all but guaranteed, did all he could to defend his team. No, wait. No, he didn’t. Torre issued a rather equivocal statement coming out in support of his favorite players but not quite picking sides. ESPN had more:
Joe Torre won’t pick sides between Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee, the former New York Yankees strength coach who accused the Rocket of using performance-enhancing drugs.
“You’re not going to get me in that jackpot,” the former Yankees manager said Wednesday. “I’d rather just stay away from making any in-depth comment about the whole steroid-HGH thing…”
“I’m very close to Roger. When I say close to him, he was a great competitor for me. Andy the same way. And I certainly know they’re two proud individuals that only like to do the right thing,” Torre said. “I’d just like to leave it at that…”
“It made it look like a lopsided report,” Torre said. “Plus, don’t forget, the Yankees have so many people coming through there on a year-to-year basis. We changed over quite often, whether it would be a player for the month of May, a player for the month of September. But I think the big part of it was the access, where these two people were both based in New York…”
“When you’re talking about 80 players that supposedly were using one thing or another, to me it may be an incomplete report,” he said. “The only thing I do know is that the most important thing for us in baseball is to make sure that when we take the field, that the fans trust us. So whatever we have to do to make that happen, I think that’s important.”
So either Joe Torre literally had no idea what was happening in his clubhouse with the players under his control or he just flat-out doesn’t want to talk about it. As always, I have no idea what the truth is; I’m just telling you what someone else said, and this time, that someone else was the man in charge for 12 seasons. Take that for what you will.