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October 5, 2006

Joe Torre


Q. Jim Leyland was in here before and he said that he didn't think the Yankees had anything to do with the confusion that they felt last night over the rain, but he did have a funny line, he said it was the first time he had ever been outmanaged on an off-day by you.
JOE TORRE: I know, he told me outside. (Laughing) I love him to death. It was one of those things. I don't envy Major League Baseball for having to make these decisions, especially initially when it's 8:00 and it's not raining and you have, I think sometimes technology just kicks us in the rear end and you have all of this information on what is supposed to happen.
And, in fact, Moose went out for the eight o'clock start and we had to go get him. He hasn't doing anything, was just in the dugout and then it just became Tim McClellan came in and said we're not on time and just sit here and told, and maybe 9:30 we'll start. And then at 9:30, they came in and mentioned that we were going to start at ten o'clock, and I said, well, I don't know if ten o'clock is reasonable, because it takes 25 minutes for my pitcher who is sitting in the other room, so maybe a little after ten.
And then they start talking about the forecast, the really heavy rains that were going to come by 11,11:15 and we start talking about the fact that post-season play is not about playing an abbreviated game. I said neither manager wants to lose a pitcher, and that was the extent of our contribution to that. And then they came back a little bit later and told us that it was going to be called.

Q. A moment ago, you said in a casual way about Leyland, "I love him to death." Ozzie Guillen told me a couple of weeks ago, he doesn't like a lot of managers, but he admires Jim Leyland. What is it about Leyland that appeals to guys in your line of work?
JOE TORRE: You know, he's a blue-collar guy. He's honest. He's very good at what he does and really down plays that part of it. I don't want to say he's sly, but he's very bright and really comes across as anybody can do, this what I do, and we know better. And he's had success everywhere he's gone. Again, he's not necessarily comfortable in this environment. He'd much rather be doing things, you know, out of the spotlight. But he's just a real straight, straight shooter, I guess that's probably it.

Q. Did you talk to Randy in Detroit?
JOE TORRE: I have not talked to Randy. As I said to the local media that just came into my office. I said nothing changed from yesterday except the fact that Randy should be on the ground by now.
But no, I haven't. I'm assuming everything's fine.

Q. No, I understand that, but will he watch the game on TV, will he work out at all?
JOE TORRE: Well, there's a good question. I'm not sure that after yesterday he would really do anything today anyway. I don't even think he would play catch today.

Q. If you look at the pitcher that Kenny Rogers has been throughout his career, have you given much thought why for the two years that he was here, I know one part of it he was injured, but why he underachieved while he was here?
JOE TORRE: I think Kenny is a guy who would much prefer to -- you know, a little bit like Leyland in that respect, would just like to do what he does without everything being under a microscope. I just didn't think he was comfortable here.
I thought that he -- you know, obviously he's a high-quality pitcher, he's proven that in a number of places. But it just doesn't seem like he's got his feet on the ground here. I know we've talked quite a bit during that year because he, you know, wasn't sure everybody wanted him here, including me. And at the time I said it wasn't true, and if it was true, it would having in to do with the fact that we all wanted -- we all wanted him to do well.
I know he became very close with Andy Pettitte, and Andy certainly has been here and played here and pitched here really well. And it was just I think a personality that he just wasn't comfortable here. I can't find any other way to describe it. And I can't tell you what he was like over with the Mets, because he was there for a period of time.

Q. You how would you describe Jim's managing once the game start, his strategy and using his players that, type of thing?
JOE TORRE: He knows his players, I think that's the most important thing. You witnessed that the other night. He had straight answers for you guys when he was questioned about, did you leave Robertson in too long. When you know your players, you may do things that are going to be second-guessed, but you have a reason for doing them, you're not just keeping your fingers crossed. Certain people you trust in situations, and that's what he's all about.
You know, he's certainly knowledgeable, he's great at watching the game as far as when to take chances; it did not surprise me. He tried to hit-and-run with first and second with a ground ball pitcher. He used to do the same thing to me when Tewksbury was pitching, because when Tewksbury was pitching, anywhere around the plate, the guy could put the ball in play. But he's probably right, Wanger probably through the pitch of the night at that point in time.
He's a shoot-from-the-hip type of guy, but still has the knowledge that goes along with it. It's not strictly by, you know, by feel.

Q. It's a little bit like you, but to have been away from the game for so long and to be so successful and to know his players so well, how does a guy do that?
JOE TORRE: Well, when he's away from the game, I don't think he ever stops managing. You sit there and watch the game on TV, you're probably in both dugouts at the same time and I think that's probably what gave him the itch to come back; plus working over there with Tony as close as he did in St. Louis.
It never leaves you. Yeah, you need a break from it once in awhile, there's no question. But the fact of the matter is, you know, it's in your blood and you're just going to have to deal with it whether you like it or not. I asked him the other day, with everything that's gone on lately, when you have trouble winning ball games, do you still enjoy yourself and he never even hesitated saying how much fun it was for him.

End of FastScripts...

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