Way, way, way back in 2007, we covered a Craigslist posting by a gentleman seeking a co-writer for a tell-all about his time as a Yankees clubhouse worker, the abuse he endured, and the many scandalous Bronx Bombers episodes he witnessed. It is now 2015, and Abused By The New York Yankees is finally out—and its claims are literally unbelievable.
Former Yankees assistant equipment manager Paul Priore was fired in 1997. He says the team let him go because he is HIV-positive; the Yankees, and New York state courts, disagree. Now the seamy tell-all Priore threatened to write has found its way to print (albeit through self-publishing), and co-author Gary Toushek is spamming the world with this bizarre video explaning why Priore’s outlandish claims are totally legit.
- Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada engaged in sexual relations in the clubhouse sauna at the end of their first season with the team. Jeter and Posada then allowed Priore to perform oral sex on them in order to keep him quiet.
- George Steinbrenner spied on players using secret security cameras in the clubhouse, and was actively involved in the Iran-Contra Affair.
- Outfielder Gerald Williams had sex with an underage concession stand worker in a storage closet.
- Cecil Fielder played drunk on vodka, and Darryl Strawberry drank whisky during games.
- Bob Wickman, Jeff Nelson and Mariano Rivera tried to sexually assault him with a baseball bat.
- Batboys created a market of forged autographs on Yankees memorabilia.
Knowing what we know about George Steinbrenner, the parts of Priore’s story dealing with the late Boss ring true, sort of. But, as Bernadette Pasley illustrates, the rest of Priore’s tome is so wrought with inconsistencies and outright factual errors that it’s hard to take anything else in it seriously. And, of course, it’s a garbage self-published book. Toushek & Priore have taken their promotional tour to such places as the U.S. Attorney’s Office and to that of Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, among others, with urgings to investigate:
...the duplicitous and unethical business practices of George Steinbrenner from the time he purchased the team with partners in 1973. [...] George Steinbrenner – a twice-convicted felon — had ordered his office staff who dealt with financial matters to keep two sets of books, one official and the other temporary. The temporary set was routinely and systematically destroyed. Priore observed office staffers carting boxes of papers to the stadium basement where the papers were dumped into a large metal container and incinerated. He said that a number of staffers had discreetly revealed to him the existence of a so-called ‘dummy’ corporation.
Furthermore, in 1996 Priore observed three levels of gambling in the Yankees clubhouse: manager Joe Torre – now a Major League Baseball executive — and coach Don Zimmer regularly sent batboys (aged 14-16) with Yankees identification to the nearby off-track betting office to place wagers on horse races; a batboy linked to a bookie regularly placed wagers on sports events for players and employees during game days in the clubhouse using a phone connected to the stadium switchboard, and on at least one occasion players were observed and heard betting on themselves to lose the game they would play that day, which Priore discreetly recorded on audio tape – they won the bet and the bookie’s runner delivered the winnings; most nights after stadium games on-duty NYPD cops joined with players and employees including batboys to gamble on poker and blackjack card games, and alcohol was freely consumed.
Again, the Steinbrenner parts sound totally believable! He’s also been dead for five years. The other things seem barely scandalous, if even marginally factual. For what it’s worth, Priore claims to have many of these episodes recorded on audio tape. We are happy to verify and publish that audio, if Priore supplies it.
You can buy Abused By The New York Yankees, if you choose, over here.
Credit for photo of Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter definitely not having sex: Bennett Raglin/Invision for ACES Baseball Inc./AP Images