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Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Yanks begin Tampa meetings, make no decisions

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- Joe Torre's future with the New York Yankees remained unclear Tuesday after team officials gathered at the home of owner George Steinbrenner to debate whether the manager should return for a 13th season.

"The meetings are adjourned for tonight," spokesman Howard Rubenstein said shortly after the session ended about 4 p.m. "There have been no decisions made, nor will there be any comment today. The meetings will resume tomorrow."

Steinbrenner told The Record of Hackensack, N.J., on Oct. 6 that he didn't think he'd bring back the manager if the Yankees failed to advance to the AL Championship Series. Cleveland then eliminated New York in four games, sending New York to its third straight first-round exit.

Mixed Messages

Joe Torre
If Joe Torre has managed his last game for the Yankees, he leaves a mixed legacy. He won it all in four of his first five years. His teams in the last seven seasons averaged more wins in the regular season but flamed out in the playoffs -- including three straight first-round losses.

First 5 Years
1996 92-70 Won WS
1997 96-66 Lost ALDS
1998 114-48 Won WS
1999 98-64 Won WS
2000 87-74 Won WS
Avg. wins 97
Last 7 Years
2001 95-65 Lost WS
2002 103-58 Lost ALDS
2003 101-61 Lost WS
2004 101-61 Lost ALCS
2005 95-67 Lost ALDS
2006 97-65 Lost ALDS
2007 94-68 Lost ALDS
Avg. wins 98

The owner's sons, Hank and Hal, were seen at the owner's house, along with son-in-law Felix Lopez. Yankees president Randy Levine, chief operating officer Lonn Trost, general manager Brian Cashman and assistant general manager Jean Afterman also were in town.

Torre has managed the Yankees to the playoffs in all 12 of his seasons and helped the team win the World Series in four of his first five years. But the Yankees haven't won the World Series since 2000 and haven't won the AL pennant since 2003.

If Torre doesn't return, bench coach Don Mattingly is the leading contender to take over. Yankees broadcaster Joe Girardi, the NL Manager of the Year with the Florida Marlins in 2006, is another possibility.

The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., reported Tuesday that Mattingly told a member of the Steinbrenner family he does not feel ready for the manager's job and is uncomfortable with replacing Torre.

Ray Schulte, a spokesman for Mattingly, said the report was "completely false, totally fabricated and took Don completely by surprise."

"If and when a decision is made concerning Joe's future, Don will respond, at that time," Schulte said in a statement. "In the meantime, he wants what is best for Joe and the Yankee organization!"