We certainly didn't like Joe Torre when he was skipper of The Evil Ones. But we always respected the way he treated the game. He is an 'old-school' baseball lifer, and he reflected those sentiments in a fabulous Hall of Fame induction speech yesterday at Cooperstown. While he joked about some of his supposed shortcomings as a player (e.g., as a Met, he grounded into four double-plays in one game), he failed to mention that he was a pretty darned good ballplayer over eighteen seasons (.297 average, 252 HRs, 2,342 hits, 1,185 RBIs). But it was the closing portion of his speech that hit home—a simple, yet brilliant, expression of why we all love baseball. Here it is: "Baseball is a game of life. It's not perfect, but it feels like it is. That's the magic of it. We are responsible for giving it the respect that it deserves. Our sport is part of the American soul, and it's ours to borrow just for a while, to take care of it for a time, and then pass it on to the next generation. When I say us, I mean as managers and players. If all of us who love baseball are doing our jobs, then those who get the game from us will be as proud to be a part of it as we were. This game is a gift, and I'm humbled to accept its greatest honor." Amen, Joe Torre.