On July 11th, we had the honor of hosting Joe Torre at Steiner Sports HQ for a Meet & Greet/Q & A.
You can watch or listen to the full podcast on my blog >> HERE <<.
In the meantime, here are some highlights:
Joe Torre on staying fit and healthy:
I’m still working a lot, which helps. It keeps you from thinking about how old you are.
On working for the league:
I watch all these managers get upset, and I think, “I’m glad I’m not doing that anymore.” I’m trying to be the voice of reason, and they’re irrational, like I was. It’s nice seeing it from the other side.
On his Safe at Home Foundation:
I grew up in an environment where my dad abused my mom and it affected me. And I didn’t realize that was why I had certain feelings of inadequacy. It was only through some counseling that I realized that that was causing some of my issues. We provide safe rooms and schools for youngsters. So they can talk about it, and we can let them know it’s not their fault. We give them coping skills. I’m very proud of it – it’s been over 10 years now.
They do the best they can. And now, with the technology, people think all they do is make mistakes…but they don’t get to see the replays until they’re in bed that night. We’re trying to have the players understand that it kills them when they make a mistake. But they have to exercise authority, so it looks like they don’t care sometimes…Over 162 games, it all balances out, somewhat.
On Hank Aaron and Willie Mays:
Henry could do everything Willie could do; he just didn’t do it with the same amount of flair.
On being down 2-0 to the Braves in the 1996 World Series, which the Yankees eventually won 4-2:
I was blessed with some great players that didn’t know what the word “quit” meant. It was terrific.
On the Hall of Fame:
If it happens, I’m sure I’m gonna be as proud as I can be. But it’s something I’ve never spent a lot of time thinking about. Because I had no control over it, other than doing the best I could all the time.
Words to live by, no??
LISTEN TO JOE, IN HIS OWN WORDS AND VOICE, HERE!
A couple of weeks ago, while he was in town to manage his Dodgers as they played a two-game set at Yankee Stadium, I had the pleasure of chatting with New York baseball legend Don Mattingly (or, as many of us know him, “Donnie Baseball”).
You can listen to the full podcast on my blog, >> HERE <<.
In the meantime, here are some highlights:
On managing players:
“They’re worried about their careers. My job is to enhance their careers, but also put it all in a team format. That’s the toughest part and that’s my job.”
On dealing with adversity and losing:
“You go back to your roots. You persevere. Don’t use injuries as an excuse. Figure out how to win a game that day. Think about chipping away. ‘Let’s hang in and get a game here, a game there.’ So when we get our guys back, we’ll be within striking distance.”
“The buck stops with you. At times when you’re losing, you feel like you’ve forgotten everything you know about baseball. That’s something you learn about managing – no matter what decisions you make, they’re not right if you lose.”
On learning from Joe Torre:
“Watching Joe prepare his teams helped me set the standard for how I wanted to get my team ready. His patience for the length of the season, and his trust in his guys. I remember one year, we had a guy who seemed to not want to play that year. Everyone on staff said, ‘Joe, how can you put up with that?’ Joe told me, ‘Donny, we’re gonna need him to win.’ His patience with that guy was all about getting the best out of him somehow, some way. He weathered that storm and by the end of the year, the guy flipped and was ready to roll again and got his joy back. And he helped us a lot. That was a great lesson for me.”
On highly-skilled players vs. leaders:
“You get different guys. You get guys who are really good players, but that’s where it ends. They’re just good players. Then you’ll get guys who are lower-tier players but are better leaders because they play hard, they battle, and they fight. Those are the guys you want, but they don’t have the same impact in your locker room. I always go back to Derek Jeter as an example: When your best player plays harder than everyone else, the other guys don’t have any excuses.”
On returning to New York:
“I’m excited. When I fly into New York, I feel like I’m flying home. I’m from Indiana, but since I played my whole career here and coached here, I always feel like this is home.”
On playing in New York:
“New York was a great place for me to grow up as a player. I was kind of a quiet person, from a small town, and was a little intimidated coming here. But I loved to play. Here, they see that love of playing, and that’s great because I got attention just for that; I didn’t have to do anything extra.”
LISTEN TO DON, IN HIS OWN WORDS AND VOICE, HERE!