Mr. Klapisch shared with us a new perspective and insight into the game of baseball. I don’t want to be greedy by keeping all the information for myself, so I decided that I would pass his knowledge and opinions on to you. Here is a quick run through of the major topics that we discussed in order:
Joe Torre and co-author Tom Verducci’s new book The Yankee Years: Klapisch felt very strongly that Torre went out of line with this publication. “What goes on in a clubhouse between a manager and his players should stay between them, and does not belong in a book,” stated Klapisch. The book is quite hypocritical, considering Torre coached these players with ethics and morals that he is now blatantly destroying. He should not disclose confidential information, even if it involves the must “nutty” of players.
Joe Torre: Klapisch described Torre as a relatively consistent and straightforward guy. In interviews, if Torre liked the reporter, he would refer to them by their first name (“Hey, Bobby!”). If Torre wasn’t fond of them, they received the cold shoulder. As most know, Torre was a commander of the Yankee clubhouse and any player that stood up to him did not wear pinstripes for much longer.
Manny Ramirez: When asked why the Mets didn’t go after him, Klapisch responded that, logically, it would make sense for the Mets to want a guy like Manny Ramirez. And, in fact, they do wish they could sign a player with his exact skills. But the fact is that the cons outweigh the pros, in that a “Manny-who-doesn’t-get-his-way” is much worse than a positive Manny. Also, Klapisch told us that he believes that the Mets have run into some monetary complications. It is public knowledge that the owners of the Mets, the Wilpons, had money invested in Bernard Madoff. The Wilpons have insisted too many times that they are “fine” for them to actually be “fine.”
Willie Randolph: He was an awful manager for the Mets. Randolph was the type of coach to downplay everything his players did. Klapisch gave the example of when Tom Glavine was going for his 300th win a few years ago. The media and the fans hyped up the game so much, yet Randolph reiterated that it was just a regular game and not such a big deal. This is the exact opposite of what a good coach should be doing for his players.
The Mets: Through the last few years the Mets have not been able to produce a true leader for the team. Klapisch told us that most people underestimate the effect that a positive clubhouse can have on a team’s actual play. Piazza was never a leader, but rather a “loner” who likely preferred to do crossword puzzles than actually play baseball. Beltran is too quiet and Wright is too young, leaving the Mets with few choices for an eligible leader.
Jaba Chamberlain: Chamberlain should stick to the bullpen. He is overweight.
Jerry Manuel: Manuel is a much better choice for manager for the Mets team. He gave fans an introduction to himself when he got ejected from the Met-Yankee game when Delgado hit a homerun that was ruled foul. Randolph was the coach at the time and barely argued the call. On the first day of his new position as coach, Manuel displayed control and complete command when he pulled Reyes from the game after a slight leg injury. Reyes at first stormed off the field apparently mad at Manuel for pulling him. Several innings later, Reyes appeared in the dugout next to Manuel, apologizing for his immature behavior, and showing complete respect and loyalty for his manager.
Bob Klapisch: Other than baseball, the only show Klapisch watches is “24.” Just in case you were wondering.
Pedro Martinez: Done. Enough said.
A.J. Burnett: Will likely get injured. Again.
Joe Girardi: After one season deemed unsuccessful, Klapisch believes the clock has started on Girardi and that the coach is already on his way out. He is way too intense for a baseball coach, especially of the Yankees, and would be better suited coaching high school football or writing tickets on the New Jersey turnpike. Bobby Valentine would be a much better fit for the Yankees.
Ricky Henderson and Bobby Bonilla: Klapisch was actually the one who broke the story of the two Mets playing cards in the clubhouse during an intense game. Henderson was never a team player or a great guy, but he was one amazing athlete and deserved every vote he received for the Hall of Fame.