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Agent refutes report that Mattingly not ready to manage

Don Mattingly's agent refuted a report Tuesday that said he was uncomfortable replacing Joe Torre as the Yankees' manager.

The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., citing a friend of the Yankees bench coach, reported that Mattingly had informed the Yankees that he's not ready to manage and is uncomfortable with replacing Torre as manager.

"Basically, there is no truth to it. It was completely fabricated," Agent Ray Schulte told 1050 ESPN Radio's Andrew Marchand. Schulte first made his comments to Newsday before talking to ESPN Radio. "It came completely as a surprise to Don."

"He considers Joe a mentor and would love to have him continue, but if the Yankees felt it was the best situation [Mattingly would be interested in managing the team]." Schulte said.

Torre's status for next season will be decided during discussions starting on Tuesday morning in Tampa, Fla. George Steinbrenner is expected to attend the meetings along with sons
Hal and Hank; son-in-law Felix Lopez; team president Randy Levine;
chief operating officer Lonn Trost; and general manager Brian
Cashman.

George Steinbrenner said last weekend that he didn't think the Yankees would keep Torre if the team failed to advance from its first-round series with Cleveland. New York was later eliminated in four games by the Indians, the Yankees' third straight opening-round exit, but Steinbrenner has been silent on Torre's fate since. Torre has led New York to the playoffs in all 12 of his seasons and has won four World Series titles.

The New York Post first reported Sunday that Hank and Hal Steinbrenner have taken over the daily running of the team.

Hank Steinbrenner told the Post that he will share final say on team decisions with his brother Hal but Hank will apparently focus more on the baseball side of the business. Hal Steinbrenner will focus more on the construction of the new Yankee Stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2009.

"There's always been a succession -- and that's myself and my brother," Hank Steinbrenner told the paper.

Levine told The Associated Press on Sunday night, however, that George Steinbrenner, 77, will still have the final say on Torre.

"He's still the boss. He's acting like the chairman of a major
company," he said. "As in many other instances in major
league baseball, his kids have stepped up and are devoting a lot of
time on the day-to-day running of the team."

If Torre isn't brought back, Mattingly has been considered the leading contender to take over. Yankees broadcaster Joe Girardi, who won NL Manager of the Year with the Florida Marlins in 2006, and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who hasn't decided if he will return to St. Louis, are other often-mentioned possibilities.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.