Torre: No decisions on future
PHOENIX -- Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre disputed a report that he would be unlikely to return next season because of the ongoing divorce of owner Frank McCourt and his wife, former Dodgers president Jamie McCourt, and the widely held perception that the team's shrinking payroll is a result of Frank McCourt's financial concerns stemming from the divorce.
Foxsports.com reported that "friends of Joe Torre doubt he would tolerate another year of the Dodgers' penny-pinching circus.''
Told of the report before Monday night's game at Arizona, Torre, who is in the final season of a three-year, $13 million contract, reiterated what he has said since negotiations on his possible one-year extension were placed on hold during spring training.
"Obviously they aren't friends of mine,'' Torre said of the sources cited in the report. "I don't really allow those conversations to get out of my house anyway. I won't make up my mind until close to the end of the season.''
Asked if the McCourt divorce will factor in his decision, Torre gave only a cryptic answer.
"It's going to be me and how I feel toward the end of the year,'' Torre said. "Do I want to do this again? The thing I don't want to do is just shut it down. I don't think that would be fair to my wife. But it is going to have more to do with me than anything else.''
The one-year extension Torre discussed with general manager Ned Colletti last winter also would have included a front-office role for Torre starting in 2012.
"I refuse to say absolutes, but I think it is very, very remote that it will ever happen,'' Torre said. "I hate to say it would never happen because I don't know what is going to happen. But I certainly don't anticipate that at 70 years of age, I am going to be searching around for another place.''
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Furcal to rehab with Inland Empire
Because inclement weather is in the forecast for Colorado Springs, where Albuquerque is playing this week, Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal will do his minor league rehabilitation assignment with Inland Empire instead. He still will play Tuesday and Wednesday at home against Lake Elsinore, and remains on track to be activated from the 15-day disabled list in time for Friday night's game at San Diego.
Furcal last played on April 27, when he strained his left hamstring running out a double play grounder in a game at New York.
Ortiz to start Friday
Torre said that barring something unforeseen -- like needing Ramon Ortiz out of the bullpen for an extended outing during this week's series at Arizona -- the veteran right-hander will be moved into the starting rotation and get the ball on Friday night against the Padres.
Ortiz, 36, last started a game in the majors on May 26, 2007, for Minnesota against Toronto. He has a 5.24 ERA in 13 relief appearances for the Dodgers this season, going as long as five innings and 82 pitches behind Haeger on Saturday night against Colorado.
By inserting Ortiz on Friday, the Dodgers are giving left-hander Clayton Kershaw and right-hander Chad Billingsley one extra day of rest this time through the rotation. Kershaw will pitch against the Padres on Saturday night, Billingsley on Sunday.Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.