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Joe Torre's big move

Former Yankee manager Joe Torre, above, and former

Former Yankee manager Joe Torre, above, and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani will talk about baseball, politics and 9/11, at the annual LIA fall luncheon, said Kevin Law, the group's president. Credit: AP, 2011

Joe Torre has quit his Major League Baseball post to join a group vying for ownership of the Dodgers, MLB announced Wednesday. 

Not a big surprise. Torre's interest in Dodgers ownership goes back to 2010, his final year as manager there, when things already were turning to terrible thanks to Frank McCourt's divorce. However, the expiration of Torre's contract after '10, combined with McCourt's hard fight to keep the team at that time, meant that Torre needed something to do in the interim.

Enter Torre's pal Bud Selig, offering Torre a $2 million salary to oversee the on-field stuff and, just as important, provide a voice of credibility in instances like MLB's decision to postpone World Series Game 6 on a night that wound up only mildly rainy.

It proved to be a mutually beneficial, brief relationship. For Torre, the job served as a relative stress relief, after managing partial or full seasons every year since 1990. And he did indeed come through in high-profile moments, effectively selling MLB's perspective.

Sure, we wish Torre had been less forgiving of umpires and more supportive of expanded instant replay. You can't have everything in life, though.

Back to the Dodgers. Will Torre's group, headed by real estate developer Rick Caruso, win the bidding?

Too early to tell. First bids are due by January 23, and for sure, the Caruso/Torre group is serious. There are many serious bidders, however, and Torre's friendship with Selig won't help. As per the terms of McCourt's agreement with MLB, McCourt gets to select the winning group, which then must gain MLB approval.

If this doesn't work out for Torre - we should know by April 30, although court decisions concerning the Dodgers' TV rights could push that back - then he'll be just fine. He can be a broadcaster, he can just do appearances, he could be an adviser to another team's owner. He won't be bored, unless he chooses to be.

--Have a great day.

--UPDATE, THURSDAY, 9:22 a.m.: I'm pressed for time, so no morning post. Apologies. Check back this afternoon for another contest.

New York Sports