Joe Torre congratulates A-Rod on 600

Updated: August 5, 2010, 12:09 AM ET
By Brian Kamenetzky | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Joe Torre didn't see it, but he did offer a note of congratulations to Alex Rodriguez after the New York Yankees third baseman hit his 600th home run earlier Wednesday.

Torre, who managed Rodriguez in New York from 2004 to '07, said he delivered a message to Rodriguez "through a friend of mine, through one of the kids that works with the Yankees. I just called someone who I knew would get the message to him."

When asked about the contents of the note, Torre said, "Congratulations, that's all. But you call someone where you know the message is going to get delivered, and in the right way."

Rodriguez became the seventh player to reach 600 home runs after belting a two-run homer off Shaun Marcum of the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.

Torre said he thought Rodriguez's approach recently -- telling jokes and trying to deflate the situation -- was a positive sign. Still, Torre said, Rodriguez tends to put pressure on himself.

"To me, any time you're up there trying to do something for yourself, it's much tougher than trying to win a game," Torre said in reference to the expectations others have when someone is close to reaching a milestone. "Trying to win a game, you can bury yourself in the situation."

In June, Rodriguez and Torre reconciled during a series at Dodger Stadium. The two had been at odds most recently because of a book Torre co-authored with Tom Verducci after he left the Yankees in 2007 that painted an unflattering portrait of Rodriguez, including the revelation that his teammates referred to him as "A-Fraud" behind his back.

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