Report: Yankees mull agreement

Updated: January 30, 2009, 11:16 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees are considering whether to ask for confidentiality clauses in future contracts with managers and coaches following Joe Torre's book on his 12 years with the team.

No decision has been made, a Yankees official said Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the discussion is internal.

The team thinks it has no authority to ask for any confidentiality provisions in player contracts, the official said, because they are governed by Major League Baseball's collective-bargaining agreement.

"Our view would be that they could not add that to a player contract," said Michael Weiner, general counsel of the players' association.

New York's consideration of the clauses was first reported by Newsday. The team already includes some confidentiality provisions for business plans in executive contracts.

In the book, Torre is critical of Alex Rodriguez, David Wells, Randy Johnson and Gary Sheffield.

At his Turn 2 Foundation dinner on Wednesday night in Wesley Chapel, Fla., Yankees captain Derek Jeter dodged questions about the book, co-written by Torre and Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci.

Jeter did speak about the Yankees' additions of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira, taking his usual low-key approach.

"Do you get rings for that? For being the champions of winter?" Jeter said. "Pretty much, if you think about it, every year we have a good team on paper. We get an opportunity to win. But you don't win for just having good players on paper. You have to go out there and you have to perform. You have to play well at the right time."

Torre managed the Yankees from 1996 to 2007 before taking over the Los Angeles Dodgers last season. He is scheduled to appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" on Wednesday to promote his new book; his first interview to discuss "The Yankee Years" is slated for "Larry King Live" on Friday.

I've always said if you weren't Joe's boy, he could care less about you. ... Don't get me wrong, he is not a bad manager. I just thought he was a bad individual, because of the fact he didn't treat everybody the same.

-- David Wells

A Yankees official, quoted anonymously by Newsday, told the newspaper that some front-office members already are required to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to protect "proprietary knowledge of our business model." Club officials, according to the report, would like to ensure that any future books are "positive in tone" and "do not breach the sanctity of our clubhouse."

Although some Yankees players such as Jeter and catcher Jorge Posada have said that they'd prefer to read the book before commenting on its contents, former Yankees pitcher Carl Pavano condemned Torre's decision to divulge details of clubhouse matters.

"I am extremely disappointed that someone I had a lot of respect for would make these type of comments in his upcoming book," Pavano said in a statement released to 1050 ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand through Pavano's agent, Tom O'Connell. "I wish nothing but the best for Joe Torre and my former Yankee teammates, but with that said it does explain why I haven't received any Christmas cards from Joe the last few years."

Former Yankees pitcher Wells is also upset. On the Michael Kay Show on 1050 ESPN New York, Wells was asked what he would do if he ran into Torre in the next month or so?

"I'd knock him out," said Wells, chuckling. "You know what? I probably wouldn't say anything. I would probably laugh at him."

In the book, Torre says, "The difference between Kevin Brown and David Wells is that both make your life miserable, but David Wells meant to."

Paul O'Neill, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens, among others, were favored by Torre, according to Wells.

"I've always said if you weren't Joe's boy, he could care less about you," Wells said. "He ran his tight ship the way he wanted to. Don't get me wrong, he is not a bad manager. I just thought he was a bad individual, because of the fact he didn't treat everybody the same. He had his boys. He let certain guys do their thing. He wouldn't let other guys do other things."

Still, Wells said he would buy the book.

"I'd like to go buy the book," Wells said. "He can have his 27 bucks. It doesn't matter to me. Just to read it to see how much BS is in that."

In an interview with SI.com, the Web site Verducci writes for, the author took issue earlier this week with New York tabloid characterizations of Torre's feelings toward the Yankees. Verducci and Torre collaborated earlier on "Chasing the Dream," Torre's 1997 memoir.

"I think it's important to understand context here. The book is not a first-person book by Joe Torre, it's a third-person narrative based on 12 years of knowing the Yankees and it's about the changes in the game in that period," Verducci told the site. "Seems to me the New York Post assigned this third-person book entirely to Joe Torre and that's not the case.

"In fact, if people saw that Post story they probably noticed there are no quotes from Joe Torre in it. Joe Torre does not rip anybody in the book. The book really needs to be read in context."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE