Former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre has a chat...

Former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre has a chat with third baseman Alex Rodriguez before a spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Tampa, Fla. (March 18, 2007) Credit: AP

LOS ANGELES - In what appeared to be a staged moment (an ESPN camera just happened to be there), Alex Rodriguez interrupted his pregame stretch and trotted over to greet Joe Torre, who was standing behind the batting cage. The two chatted, smiling, for about 45 seconds.

Moments before Rodriguez came over, he was seen talking to the Yankees' media relations director. As they spoke, photographers snapped pictures and other cameras converged to take video. Though the dialogue was difficult to hear, A-Rod at one point could be heard saying "thank you" and "appreciate it."

Said Rodriguez after Sunday night's game, "I thought it was important for me to go over there. I thought it was the mature thing to do. I felt from my heart it was important to not let things linger and to build on what I've tried to build here the last two years, taking some steps forward and go from there.''

Rodriguez - who went 5-for-13 in the series, hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the sixth inning Friday and added a two-run homer in the sixth inning last night - refused to talk about Torre when asked about his former manager Wednesday in Phoenix. He softened somewhat after Friday night's game when much was made of his failure to greet Torre beforehand.

"Overall, I think our experience was good, and on the offensive side, there were a lot of things I learned from him, and to this day, I use and I hear his voice," A-Rod said Friday. "He was a good hitter and a good teacher of hitting."

For his part, Torre didn't see any reason the two wouldn't shake hands. "I don't think there's anything that should keep us from doing that," he said Friday.

Last night, they finally did.

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