Torre candid on deciding future

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre said he will wait until the end of the season to decide whether he will return to the team and admitted he isn't leaning one way or the other.

"I'm comfortable that the Dodgers have left it to me," Torre said Wednesday before the Dodgers lost to the Angels, 2-1 at Angel Stadium. "They seem to be agreeable if I decide that I want to do this again. But I really have not thought about it, I'm just trying to do what I do here and toward the end of the year I'll see if I still want to go through a full year like this.

"It's a big commitment. I've loved it. I have to admit, there are days I leave the house and I wish I could go to my daughter's softball practice. But it's still a hell of a way to make a living. I advise it to all those people who want to do it."

Questions about retirement and legacy were in the air Wednesday with the New York Yankees coming to Los Angeles for a three-game interleague series starting Friday at Dodger Stadium.

And of course, earlier Wednesday, Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he was "leaning toward retiring" after winning his 11th NBA title last week. Like Jackson, Torre is in the final year of his contract.

Torre tabled talks on a contract extension during spring training. At the end of the season, he said he would decide whether to sign a new contract or retire and possibly move into a front-office role.

Though the two men have never met, Torre and Jackson share an understanding of what it's like to coach and win on the biggest stages. And, also, of how hard it is to know when to leave that stage once and for all.

"The success he's had in the two major cities he's been in is pretty damn impressive," Torre said of Jackson. "You just hope that if he decides to retire it's because he wants to and not because his health tells him he has to. I saw the other day he wasn't at the parade because he was going through some medical stuff. So I just hope if he decides to retire, it's to move on to something else, even if it's putting your feet up.

"If I decide not to do this again, I'm sure there's going to be a time where I'm saying I'm ready to go and want to do it. But I'm sure before you make that decision, you've given it a pretty good run as far as making that decision. You can't make that decision on emotion. You have to weigh the pluses and minuses and take your shot. [Atlanta Braves manager] Bobby Cox, he's delayed that [decision], for another year. He told me [recently] that he's going to miss it, but he's not going to change his mind this time."

Ramona Shelburne is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.