Joe Torre managed Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, in which the Americans were ousted in the second round. For 2017, he will fill a different role, being named general manager last week, with Jim Leyland as manager.
“We’re hoping, obviously, that we can go a lot further than I did, but he’s excited,” Torre said of Leyland, speaking on Monday at a fundraiser in Manhattan for Harlem RBI. “When I had asked him if he was interested and then realized that USA Baseball wanted him to be interested, he called me the next day and was giving me a list of players he wanted.
“I said, OK, well let’s wait a while for that one. But it’s a tough time of the year for it to happen, and I can understand as a manager that you don’t want to lose contact with your players in spring training. So hopefully we can make sense of how we’re going to go about it, because they can certainly trust us with their players.”
Asked whether GM will be an easier job than manager, Torre said, “I don’t know. I’ll let you know. I was offered the Yankees’ GM role. When I asked if there’s vacation time and they told me no I told them I don’t think I can do that. And what happened? I fell into the managing situation, so it was perfect for me.”
Torre, 75, declined to comment on whether he has received his invitation for Derek Jeter’s reported July 2 wedding to Hannah Davis in northern California.
But he did say, “I’m very happy for Derek. He’s special. I still call him a special kid, even though he’s in his 40s. I’m calling 50- and 60-year-olds kids.”