Friday, September 17, 2010
Updated: September 18, 2:47 PM ET
Yankees have 'no issues' with Joe Torre
By Wallace Matthews
BALTIMORE -- New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said there are "no issues" between Joe Torre and the team he led to four world championships but ultimately spurned in a tell-all book. In fact, Cashman said that if Torre truly is retired -- Torre announced earlier Friday that he would not return to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011 -- he would be welcome at Yankee Stadium functions such as Old-Timer's Day.
"Joe Torre is welcome at any time," said Cashman, who traveled to Baltimore to keep an eye on his struggling team this weekend. "Joe Torre the manager is already enshrined in history with us. The marriage with him and the Yankees will go on forever. There's been no divorce in that. Just because of the way it ended doesn't change the fact of how successful and great a manager he was for us. He'll be a Hall of Famer and he'll go in as a Yankee."
Torre, of course, walked away from a conditional offer to return as Yankees manager following the 2007 season, and later wrote a book -- "The Yankee Years" with Tom Verducci -- that was perceived by some in the organization as a betrayal of team confidences. But Cashman said any lingering resentments over the book would not stand in the way of Torre being welcomed back into the Yankees family.
"You can have subjective opinions about that stuff and what was accurate and what wasn't, and should he have done it or shouldn't he have done it," Cashman said. "But in terms of what Joe did and what we all did together, nothing's gonna change that and no one wants to change that. We're really proud of what we all did together. We had success beyond all of our wildest dreams. We all got rings on our fingers to show for it."
The players who played for Torre were unanimous in their well-wishes for their former manager, and optimistic about the chances of former Yankees legend Don Mattingly -- Torre's bench coach in both New York and Los Angeles and a finalist for the job to succeed Torre that ultimately went to Joe Girardi -- to follow in the footsteps of his mentor.
"I'm happy that he gets an opportunity to do it when he wants to do it," Derek Jeter said of Torre's retirement. "It goes without saying how much he's meant to the game of baseball not only as a player but as a manager, you know, here and other places as well. I'm happy that he's decided to do it and I wish him the best."
Jorge Posada said he had texted Torre but had yet to hear back from him. "He means a lot to me," Posada said. "He means a lot to the Yankee fans and to the Yankee organization."
Posada was also full of praise for Mattingly. "Donnie's great," he said. "I was a big fan of Donnie growing up and I couldn't believe it when he was my hitting coach. I was blown away. He's great at communicating, I think that's why he's gonna be a good manager."
Girardi, however, wondered if the pull of managing would lure Torre back to the field next season, even though he turned 70 in July. "It'll be interesting to see how he feels in December, if he stays retired," Girardi said. "Joe's been doing it a long time and I'm sure there are other things he wants to do in his life. I know how much he loves to manage and I know how much he loves his family, so I won't be surprised either way."
Asked if he could see himself managing at age 70, Girardi replied with a single word: "No."
Wallace Matthews covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.
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