Good Evening
Good Evening

Torre happy to see Yankees at White House

Dodgers manager Joe Torre has had his struggles

Dodgers manager Joe Torre has had his struggles in L.A. early this season, but he was happy to see the Yankees celebrating last year's championship at the White House. (Apr. 26, 2010) Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

The Yankees were at the White House Monday. Joe Torre was at Citi Field.

Torre certainly knew where his old team was. He caught some highlights of the White House ceremony for the Yankees on the television in the manager's office in the visitors' clubhouse before last night's game was rained out.

And Torre was happy for his old players, most notably the core four of Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera.

"It's great. It really is," Torre said. "It's just a great experience. It's an off-day, and guys really treasure their off-days, but it's a memorable experience. It's an acknowledgment of what you've done."

The Dodgers came within a couple of victories of being the Yankees' World Series opponent last fall, and that would have made New York go pretty bonkers. But even falling short in the National League Championship Series didn't deter Torre from watching his old team win its first title without him.

"In past years, I've never been one to watch a World Series if we got knocked out, but I watched this one," Torre said. "With those core guys, and Matsui too, the Series he had. It was just special to see it and know what it felt like for those guys.

"To have it continue to be important to those four guys - for some guys, you win it once and that's it, you don't feel like you have to do it again. For them, to want to win another one, it's something other guys should pay attention to."

Torre's Dodgers have been to the playoffs each of his two seasons in Los Angeles, though they've struggled early in 2010 and enter today's doubleheader with an 8-10 record. Along with Don Mattingly, his hitting coach with the Yankees for four years, Torre still is molding a much different group than he had in the Bronx.

One thing that's now similar is the uncertainty of Torre's situation, thanks to ownership. Frank McCourt and his wife, Jamie, are going through a public and acrimonious divorce that might force the sale of the Dodgers; Torre's contract expires after this season and he cut off talks on an extension during spring training.

But he hasn't let anything from the front office seep into the clubhouse.

"Joe's good for that, he always has been," Mattingly said. "I think everybody knows what's going on, and it has a chance to be a distraction, but it hasn't been."

Torre headed out for an unexpected free night in his hometown with Yogi Berra in tow, another tie to the Yankees era. He had talked excitedly about his 10-percent ownership stake in Homeboykris, who will run in Saturday's Kentucky Derby, and he mentioned the visit his old team will make to Dodger Stadium in late June.

"I see the billboards all over L.A., so I know they're coming," Torre said.

The Yankees were at the White House and Joe Torre was at Citi Field, dodging the raindrops. Somehow, it didn't really fit.

New York Sports