Torre visits new Yankee Stadium for the first time
Joe Torre walked into new Yankee Stadium for the first time,
signed the clubhouse wall alongside other pinstriped greats and
ended his estrangement from Brian Cashman with an embrace.
In death, George Steinbrenner had brought them back
Torre had not been to the Yankees’ home since his bitter
departure as manager after the 2007 season, the next-to-last season
of old Yankee Stadium. After 12 seasons and four World Series
titles, he walked away after he was offered only a one-year
”Yeah, I was hurt,” he said at a news conference Monday before
the unveiling of Steinbrenner’s monument. ”And yet if you try to
be rational about it, I think you had two parties not knowing how
to say goodbye. And that’s what it turned out to be – the Yankees
feeling I’d been here this long, didn’t want me to manage, and how
do you approach that?”
He announced Friday he would retire from the Los Angeles Dodgers
after three seasons as their manager, and then received an
invitation from Yankees chief operating office Lonn Trost to attend
the ceremony. With the Dodgers off, Torre accepted and came to New
York with former Yankees captain Don Mattingly, who will succeed
him as the Los Angeles manager.
Torre and Mattingly received the loudest cheers when they
appeared on the video board.
”You knew they were going to react like that,” Andy Pettitte
said. ”These fans know what they’ve meant to this organization no
matter, you know, what has gone on over the last few years. Their
marks are stamped in Yankee history, and that won’t be
Their appearances made it an even more emotional night for their
”I know how much The Boss has meant to both of their careers,”
Derek Jeter said.
Torre said he was stressed during his final three years as
Yankees manager. After leading the team to World Series titles in
1996 and from 1998-00, his final seven seasons were
Now his anger at the Yankees is almost gone.
”It gradually, you know, abated pretty much,” he said, wearing
his 1996 World Series ring. ”It’s much different than then. I’m
not saying I would want to change anything, because you tell people
how you feel at the time you feel it.”
He had not spoken with Cashman since January 2009, just before
the publication of a book that the general manager felt spilled
clubhouse secrets. After Cashman walked into the interview room and
embraced Torre, the two retreated to the clubhouse for a
”I think we’ve agreed to just put it behind us,” Cashman said.
”We had a good constructive meeting. We’ve taken the steps to
start to repair whatever got broke.”
Cashman said the chilly distance between the two contrasted with
their warm working relationship during Torre’s dozen seasons, of
which Cashman was general manager for the final decade.
”It’s just not healthy. It’s time to just turn the page and
move on,” Cashman said. ”Whatever happened on that side is a
small sample compared to the huge sample of all the good stuff that
Mattingly said he felt no bitterness when the Yankees bypassed
him to hire Joe Girardi as Torre’s successor. Mattingly said he
left as New York’s bench coach because he felt Girardi’s tenure
would have been questioned during each small losing streak had he
”I didn’t think it was fair to him,” Mattingly said. ”I love
coming back to New York.”
Torre wouldn’t rule out taking another managing job – if the
Mets fire Jerry Manuel, Torre would be linked to the job he held
”I really don’t anticipate I’m going to manage,” he said.
But Torre won’t rule it out.
”When the season’s over, if the phone rings, and if it rings a
number of times, I’m just curious what’s out there,” he said. ”If
somebody calls me and it excites me, fine. And, you know, you
certainly have to listen to it. But I’m curious if there’s
anything, because I want to stay connected with baseball in some
Torre still is associated more with the Yankees than the
Dodgers. He’s asked to sign more Yankees gear than Dodgers
And even though the new $1.6 billion ballpark wasn’t his home,
he identifies with it.
”I didn’t work on that field, but it’s Yankee Stadium,” Torre
said. ”It’s the pinstripes. It’s all the stuff.”