Joe Torre’s HBO interview tonight broke no new ground. But it may have served to clarify some of the lingering issues.
Torre said again that it wasn’t the amount of money that led to him to reject the Yankees; it was the one-year length of the contract. He also reiterated that he felt insulted by the incentives package. As he said, would there be some in-game decision that he would make differently because $1 million was at stake?
Torre also said that he didn’t understand how he wasn’t part of the process. He was the manager of the team for 12 seasons and he wasn’t invited to the organizational meetings after the season. How does that make sense?
Bob Costas asked a good question about whether others in the organization resented his popularity. Torre said that while that may have been the case, he always gave Steinbrenner credit when asked.
I can vouch for that being the case, Torre never failed to thank Steinbrenner and mention his support. Did we always write that? Of course not. It became cliche after a while.
Asked whether he was still angry, Torre said he was sad. It seems pretty clear that Torre still wants to manage the team. And if Yankee officials are to be believed, they wanted him back. But somehow no deal could get done.
Whether you are a fan or Torre or not, the end of his tenure was not a graceful one and that’s a shame. Whoever the next manager would be better served if Torre felt wanted at Yankee Stadium.
Torre will be on Letterman on Monday.