Dining With Larry King and Joe Torre

I kept dinner simple tonight, so I could watch Larry King interview Joe Torre and not get food all over myself. The menu, therefore, was this.
I turned on the TV and sat across the table from my husband Michael. I was eager to hear what Joe would say about The Book.
To set up the interview, Larry showed the audience a picture of himself at Yankee Stadium last year and explained that it had been a very windy day.
He introduced Joe, who said what every guest says: “It’s great to be here, Larry.”
Larry explained that they would be fielding questions not only from callers and e-mailers around the country, but also from fans gathered at Mickey Mantle’s restaurant in New York
and Barney’s Beanery in Los Angeles.
Since most people have already seen the show or read accounts of it, I’ll just offer my favorite moments.
Larry: Boomer Wells calls you a punk for breaking that code. Are you hurt by that?
Joe: Nah.
Me: I’d be hurt if Boomer called me a punk.
Michael: I’d be afraid if he called me anything. He’s a big guy.
Larry: What do you think about A-Rod and Madonna and all that? I know it was after you left, but does it surprise you?
Joe: Sure, it surprised me. And I feel bad for him.
Me: He feels bad for A-Rod because he has two young children?
Michael: Or because he thinks Madonna is skanky.
Comment from a male patron at Mickey Mantle‘s: Joe, seeing you is like seeing an uncle I’m not supposed to talk to anymore, because he divorced my aunt. I’m confused and sad.
Me: If he picked up the phone and called that uncle, he wouldn’t be confused and sad.
Michael: Pass the Parmesan cheese.
Question from a female patron at Mickey Mantle’s: Did you sign any sort of pre-nup with the Dodgers before you started with them or maybe since the book has come out?
Joe: Uh, as far as what?
Me: A pre-nup. She’s kidding, right?
Michael: I guess she’s never been married.
E-mail from a male in New Jersey: Should you be fortunate enough to play the Yankees in the World Series and come up to A-Rod during the first game, what would you say to him?
Joe: Unless I’m completely off base, I think there would be a hug involved.
Me: (Laughing uncontrollably)
Michael: Are you choking?
Me: No. I just don’t see the hug happening.
Larry: Did you expect the book to shock people?
Joe: No. To me, this book is going to be a piece of history.
Me/Michael at the same time: Does he think he’s winning a Pulitzer?
Caller from New York: What would you say to Yankee fans who might say you turned your back on an organization that provided you with so much fame and fortune?
Joe: Well, I hope that’s not the case.
Me: Wouldn’t he know if that’s the case?
Michael: He’s good at ducking stuff. He’d probably make an effective politician.
Question from a female patron at Mickey Mantle’s: I’m a big Yankee fan. All of us here are very ardent. And we’re involved in all the ins and outs of everything that goes on with the Yankees. How do you find the Dodgers fans compare?
Joe: The Yankee fans in New York were about as special as any fan that’s ever been around.
Me: What’s this “were?” We still are special, with or without him.
Michael: Don’t take this personally.
Me: I take everything personally. You know that.
Michael: Then maybe I shouldn’t say this.
Me: What?
Michael: The pasta’s cold and rubbery, and the sauce tastes like a salt lick.
Me: Oh, really. Well, I was busy blogging all day. I didn’t have time to fly off to Italy and hunt down the homemade stuff from some Mama Mia in Naples.
Michael: I’m just saying.
Me: That I should stop blogging?
Michael: No. I like reading your blog.
Me: But you never leave a comment.
Michael: I’m your husband. It would be weird.
Me: You could have a cool screen name. Like YanksGuy or BomberBoy. Maybe even your own blog.
Michael: What would I blog about?
Me: Same thing the rest of us blog about. 
Michael: Nothing, in other words.
Me: Yes. Exactly.


  1. juliasrants

    Jane – I think your husband should cook next time! It was an interesting interview (pre-nup? Oh please! She’s one of those female sports fans that give you & I a bad name!) and I’m curious to see how many of the people who are complaining now will actually read Torre’s book.


  2. Elizabeth D

    I didn’t see the Torre interview, but I liked the comments by you and your husband a lot better! I really can’t see Torre hugging A-Rod… at all! And the girl about the pre-nup.. well, I think that’s enough said. And I’d rather you blog then fly to Italy.

  3. Erin Kathleen

    I love that picture of Larry King, he looks like Gizmo from the Gremlins movies! I was just reading that Joe Torre didn’t expect there would be so much uproar over his book. Really?! You wrote a book that paints ARod as a diva, and Cashman and the Steinbrenners as backstabbers, and you didn’t think there’d be “so much of an uproar”? I realize that a lot of the criticism has come from people who haven’t actually read the book (such as David Wells), but still…

  4. PAUL

    Mike Francesa brought up a good point about Boomer and his threats: he got knocked out by a guy who was like, 5’4″. I think you could beat him up, Jane.
    The “Madonna is skanky” line got me laughing.
    If you need any help with dinner, I’m a pretty good cook.
    And we blog about “nothing”? That’s pure crap!!! This is important stuff!!!!

  5. Jane Heller

    LOL, Julia. Michael does cook – he rules the barbecue – but not last night. And yes, that female fan made me cringe.

    I’d like to go to Italy, Elizabeth, but not during baseball season!

    Erin, Torre has always been very adept at deflecting criticism and knowing just what to say to the media. That was one of his great strengths when he managed in New York – not an easy environment. So he may, indeed, be shocked by the response to the book, but I don’t think he’d say so.

  6. Jane Heller

    Well, you blog about important stuff, Paul. I was really speaking for myself. There are days when I’m digging way down deep for inspiration. 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed our dinner conversation, Jen. Come on over and I’ll make you some spaghetti too (it wasn’t rubbery).

  7. rosehof14

    Nothing…we blog about nothing! NOTHING!…well okay I did blog about a hat the other day. You might have some merit. Good post, good laughs, Micheal is a gutsy guy, and someone should get rid of all of Larry suspenders.


  8. rosehof14

    Oh, and where’s the love! Help an aspiring blogger by giving me some link space on your favorites. If you do I’ll even go to my local book store and harass them about why they haven’t ordered your book yet.


  9. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Jane …

    It seemed like you and your husband were asking tougher questions to each other, than the questions Lary King was asking Joe Torre !!! … I seen the interview, and “Larry was being Larry”, tossing up a bunch of softball questions to Torre … There wasn’t any new breaking news during the interview, as we all have read, or heard, most of what was discussed by Torre and King, in the many excerpts that were in the media during the past week !!! … Joe looked relaxed, and well rested, though; and, answered the questions like he did in his interviews during his Yankee days, making it sound like he was giving everybody new information, but really talking around some of the questions !!! … But, I still respect Joe Torre, and think that whatever he said in the book was honest and truthful; and, he did take full responsibility for everything that was written !!! … From a few reviews I have read and heard, the book is really an excellent account of the Yankee playoff and Championship teams during the “Joe Torre Era” !!! … So, I am looking forward to reading the book, as well as, your book, Jane !!! … Tuesday, Feb. 3rd, will be a big day for all Yankee and Baseball fans, as both these books will be released !!! … Get ready for #1 on the “Best Seller Lists”, Jane !!! Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L” … http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

  10. scofid

    I agree with Elizabeth…this interview was MUCH better than watching Larry King Live! I didn’t think that Larry would ask any tough questions, and he stayed true to form. I am hopeful that Dave Letterman will be a little more direct next week, but of course, I doubt it. Maybe they should get Simon Cowell to stand in for Dave on February 3rd…


  11. Jane Heller

    You drive a hard bargain, Cob. I’m putting you up on the blog roll so you have to harass your bookstore. Just tell them you’re taking your business to amazon and see how they like it!

    Jimmy, I agree about Joe. He led our guys to all those championships, so I’ll always respect him. I just hope his book doesn’t create a distraction at spring training. Peter Abraham said he thinks all the players will be asked about it the first day and then that’ll be that. And thanks for your words of support for my book as always. Great positive thinking!

    I don’t see Letterman in cross-examination mode, Fid. I think he’ll go for the jokes. I heard Joe is doing Regis too. Maybe he’ll cook lasagna with Martha Stewart next!

  12. Jane Heller

    I don’t think I’ll be watching the Super Bowl, Kaybee, since I know nothing about the game. On the other hand, maybe that’s the best way to watch it – totally clueless.

  13. Jane Heller

    I just told my husband what you said, Melissa. Now he’s thinking he should start a blog. Be careful what you wish for.

    You can absolutely come over, Kathy, especially if you’ll cook. We have no problem being fed while we watch TV.

    Maxguys, my husband would love to join your staff, but he doesn’t come cheap. You’d have to keep him in burgers and fries.

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