ANAHEIM, Calif. - Joe Torre has maintained relationships with the Yankees' Core Four since leaving New York, but that has not been the case with anyone in the front office.
That includes general manager Brian Cashman, with whom Torre used to be close. The two have not spoken since before Torre's book, "The Yankee Years," came out in 2009.
"We spoke a couple of times before the book came out," Torre said last night. "He took some stuff out of that book in a way that I didn't think he should have. It was a good relationship. I always got along with him. We didn't always agree, but I didn't think that was a hardship for anybody. To me, that's healthy more than anything else that you can be honest with each other. It was just unfortunate, I think."
Torre spoke before the Dodgers played the Angels here, with the majority of his pregame meeting with reporters spent talking about this weekend's series against the Yankees, which starts Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
Of his nearly 23-minute talk, about 16 minutes of it related to the Yankees and his departure after the 2007 season. Torre said he has no bitterness, even if that perception existed at the time.
"When I left there and I knew I wasn't going to be back at Yankee Stadium, I wasn't angry at all," Torre said. "I just felt probably for both sides it was the best thing to do. I'm sorry that it was misunderstood in some circles that it was about the money. I was certainly offered a lot of money; I just didn't like the fact that I needed an incentive to have to win. I think it could have finished off better but I don't think there's anything that needs to be tended to, to be honest with you. I'm not going to stay away from there, if that's what you're talking about."
That indeed has been talked about - that Torre wouldn't step back into the Stadium even if the Yankees wanted to do something involving him.
He insisted his situation won't be like that of Yogi Berra. When Berra was fired early in the 1985 season after being assured he'd get to finish the year, he swore he'd never set foot in the Stadium again as long as George Steinbrenner owned the team. He kept the promise until 1999, when David Cone pitched his perfect game on Yogi Berra Day.
"No, I can't get away with that," Torre said, laughing. "Yogi can get away with that stuff."
He said everything has worked out for the best. The Yankees are happy with Joe Girardi and Torre is happy in Los Angeles. "I was very stressed out at the end there," he said. "My wife said a lot of it was probably my doing, the way I perceived things. Once you get away from it, you say, 'It's been great.' Last year, I'm watching the World Series and not one minute did I wish I was in the dugout. It was great, I did it a lot of times, but that was enough for me."
Torre is looking forward to this weekend, especially seeing The Core Four - Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada, all of whom refer to him as a father figure.
"The odd thing for me is I'm going to be over there in that dugout pulling against people I've never pulled against before," Torre said. "That's the weird part for me. But I'm sure the competitiveness comes out and I probably won't think about it as much as I am now. But I'm looking forward to seeing some people tomorrow."