As late as next summer and as early as October, the Yankees and Joe Torre will have a reunion of sorts. Next year’s preliminary schedule has the Bombers visiting the Dodgers while this year, the Yankees find themselves just three games worse than the Dodgers.
While that eventual meeting is sure to generate more coverage than any of us could stomach, even a simple Dodger trip to Citi Field leads to a few Torre articles. This one from Newsday caught my eye this week because it seems fairly clear that Torre and the Yanks are on icy terms at best.
Earlier this week, Torre and Anthony Rieber chatted about Torre’s thoughts on both the new and old Yankee Stadiums. The former Yankee manager was unequivocal in stating that he will not be going back to Yankee Stadium. Writes Rieber:
Torre didn’t want to leave the Yankees after 12 seasons and four World Series titles. When he turned down the Yankees’ please-don’t-take-it one-year contract offer, he decided to not look back.
He said he already made his goodbyes to The House That Ruth Built after his final days as Yankees manager following their defeat in the 2007 ALDS to Cleveland. He hasn’t been back since. With the ballpark being slowly torn down, he’ll likely never get another chance. He’s OK with that. “When I left there, I would have been very surprised if it wasn’t my last time,” he said. “I took everything in. I had so many great memories there.”
Torre said he bought a couple of Yankee Stadium seats, something he has also done for other defunct stadiums he managed in (Shea, Fulton County in Atlanta, Busch in St. Louis). But he didn’t want any other memorabilia from Yankee Stadium other than what he packed up from his office.
“I’ve been asked, and even some people from the Yankees have called me, ‘Is there anything you want here?’ ” he said. “I already made arrangements for a couple of seats . . . Aside from that, everything that went on there was enough for me. It really was.”
Torre also told Rieber that he doesn’t want to visit the new Yankee Stadium unless of course it is with the Dodgers in October. He might just get his chance to visit anyway.
These sentiments from Torre are a part of the continuing feud he has with the Yankees. It was clear from his book that he has little respect for the men running the show right now, and while he should carry some of the blame for the messy divorce and probably outlived his years in New York, the Yankees and, in particular, Hank Steinbrenner messed that one up in 2007.
Joe Torre will long be remembered as a great Yankee manager. He won four rings and 1173 games. He never missed the playoffs, but since leaving after 2007, he hasn’t come back. He missed the closing ceremonies at Yankee Stadium and the All Star Game. He shouldn’t have, and that one is on Hank.