Contract talks on hold, not broken

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre has decided to put negotiations on hold for a one-year contract extension that would allow him to manage the club through 2011, but he said the talks have not broken down.

He also reiterated his desire to stick around for another season.

"Yes, right now, in March,'' he said. "Later on in the year, I might feel differently. It's funny ... I went to my daughter's [play], and somebody said, 'You look good.' I said, 'Yeah, the season hasn't started yet.' My wife said, 'Check in around July and see what he looks like. See how he feels then.'

"But I hope I feel the way I do now. I'm enjoying it, and I'm very relaxed. The most important thing for me is that the players seem to be comfortable with it.''

One sticking point in the negotiations appears to be the description of the front-office role Torre would move into after 2011.

"A lot of it is, how much do I want to do?'' Torre said. "That has been a part of it.''

Torre is entering the final season of the three-year, $13 million contract he signed before the 2008 season, and he will be attempting to become the first manager in major league history to reach the playoffs in 15 consecutive seasons. He also will be trying to guide the Dodgers to a third consecutive postseason berth for the first time in franchise history.

However, Torre will turn 70 on July 18, and his apparent successor, Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly, theoretically would have enough grooming to take over the job by next winter if Torre decided he didn't want to come back.

If nothing else, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti appears to be entirely on board with Torre managing another season, meaning the decision is solely Torre's.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.