Thu, Oct 12, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Yankees' Joe Torre finally gets thumbs up from Steinbrenner

AP , NEW YORK

Joe Torre will remain as manager of the New York Yankees, finally getting the word from owner George Steinbrenner after the team's surprise elimination from the Major League Baseball playoffs last weekend.

Torre spoke with Steinbrenner on the telephone on Tuesday, shortly before he walked into the interview room at Yankee Stadium and made the announcement.

"He gave me his support," Torre said. "I'm just pleased I'm able to stay on and do this."

Torre didn't go into further detail about his conversations with Steinbrenner.

But Steinbrenner, in a statement issued through spokesman Howard Rubenstein, said he told Torre: "You're back for the year. I expect a great deal from you and the entire team. I have high expectations, and I want to see enthusiasm, a fighting spirit and a team that works together. Responsibility is yours, Joe, and all of the Yankees."

"Yes, I am deeply disappointed about our loss this year," Steinbrenner added. "We have to do better, and I deeply want a championship. It's about time."

After the Yankees were eliminated by the Detroit Tigers -- the second straight time they were gone in the first round -- there was much speculation about what Steinbrenner would do with his 66-year-old manager.

Torre has led the Yankees to 11 consecutive playoff berths and nine American League East Division titles in a row. Lou Piniella, who served two terms as Yankees manager in the 1980s, was viewed as the most likely replacement.

While the Yankees won four World Series titles in Torre's first five seasons, they haven't won any since 2000, angering the demanding Steinbrenner. They haven't even reached the World Series since 2003.

"He requires a lot. He expects a lot. We know that," Torre said. "You can't pick and choose the parts you like about working for George Steinbrenner."

Torre has the longest uninterrupted term for a Yankees manager since Casey Stengel held the job for 12 years from 1949-60.

Under the management of Torre, the Yankees have gone 1,079-699. He trails only Joe McCarthy (1,460) and Stengel (1,149) for victories among Yankees managers.

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