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October 3, 2012 5:00 am

Sobsequy: The Unbearable Blandness of Joe Girardi


Adam Sobsey

More access to Joe Girardi doesn't make for a more interesting story, which explains why Gay Talese's new profile of the Yankees' skipper can't compare to "Silent Season."

There’s a clue to what’s wrong with Gay Talese’s recent New Yorker profile of Yankee manager Joe Girardi in these two very similar anecdotes. According to a 1973 profile of the writer, in the spring of 1950 the 18-year-old Talese went to St. Petersburg, Fla. to watch the Yankees in spring training. A young woman mistook him for the Yankees’ Jerry Coleman. Talese went along with it and, in this pinch-hitting imposture, took her deep that night. (Coleman was told about this later and was apparently livid.)

In his new piece on Girardi, Talese recounts another such story, about a time when he “embarked on a love affair in college with a young woman I had met in French class.” A few years before, Talese had gotten his first autograph from another Yankee, Johnny Lindell, who substituted for Joe DiMaggio while the Yankee Clipper was serving in the Army Air Forces. (“Lindell always posed graciously for snapshots and talked with fans before and after the games,” Talese recalls.)

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