In his first interview since excerpts of "The Yankee Years" became public, Torre told Larry King on Friday night that he's shocked by the uproar it's caused. Torre said the book, due out Tuesday, is merely an honest account of his time managing the high-profile club.
"It was a great 12 years in New York," Torre told The Associated Press after leaving the CNN studio on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.
"Sometimes you win four World Series the first five years, people think it's a piece of cake," Torre added. "I was just letting people know what goes into the decision-making, and I think I did that without violating any confidences."
Torre said some of what's been said about the book has been taken out of context.
"A little information comes out and you've got to deal with five pages or whatever it was in a 500-page book," he said. "I'm sort of used to it. You don't like people to get the wrong idea, and I certainly feel good about the way the book turned out."
The book takes some nasty swings at several of his former players and gives a candid account of Torre's acrimonious split with the team. Some of the most scathing comments involve Alex Rodriguez, who Torre accused of changing the clubhouse culture and of being too concerned about records.
"It changed the personality somewhat, but it doesn't mean you can't win," Torre told King.
According to the book, co-authored by Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci, some of A-Rod's teammates referred to him as "A-Fraud." Torre said the two haven't spoken since Torre turned down the Yankees' one-year contract offer following the 2007 season.
"I've had best wishes through people, I've texted him on occasion, but I haven't talked to Alex since I left," said Torre, who now manages the Los Angeles Dodgers. "I don't think there's anything in this book that's going to make Alex angry."
He added that if he did see the slugger, "there will be a hug involved and it won't be forced by either one of us," the New York Post reported.
Torre's comments about David Wells certainly struck a nerve, though.
"The difference between Kevin Brown and David Wells is that both make your life miserable," Torre says in the book, "but David Wells meant to."
The outspoken former pitcher said in a radio interview Thursday that Torre broke a "code" by discussing what happened in the clubhouse, and that "when you break the code, you're a punk."
So what does Torre think about the backlash?
"I have a feeling that Boomer hasn't read the book yet," Torre told the AP. "Hopefully after Boomer reads the book, he'll get a different perspective."