Joe Torre visits Dodgers
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Joe Torre made his first visit to the Los Angeles Dodgers' spring training facility on Thursday since retiring as their manager last fall. Torre is visiting all 30 teams during spring training in his new capacity as Major League Baseball's executive vice president for baseball operations.
Torre actually had said hello to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, a longtime coach under Torre with both the Dodgers and New York Yankees, as well as some of his other former Dodgers coaches on Tuesday, when the Dodgers played a Cactus League game against the Milwaukee Brewers at the nearby Maryvale complex on the day Torre happened to be visiting the Brewers.
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This time, though, Torre got a chance to sit down with Mattingly and Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti.
"When I was announced, I made up my mind I wanted to talk to all the managers and general managers," Torre said. "Just say hello and have a notepad in case there is anything they want to talk about, whatever part of the game. I told them I sat in the dugout all those years wishing this could be better or that could be better. So that's all I'm trying to learn from them now. I have seen 12 clubs so far, I have three more [on Friday], and then I'm going to go to Florida next week."
Torre said he made sure he had no other visits scheduled on the day he visited the Dodgers.
"I didn't want there to be a time limit, because there are a lot of people here that I care about," Torre said.
Torre also held a meeting with a couple of umpire supervisors at Camelback Ranch and said he already has held a meeting with both umpires and representatives of the players' union.
"You know you have really come a long way when you can get both of those [groups] in a room exchanging ideas for two and a half hours," Torre said. "I thought it was productive."
This is the first time since 1990 that Torre hasn't been in uniform as a manager during spring training, but he didn't sound like a man who missed it much.
"One thing about this job that I never had in my life is the ability to make my own schedule," said Torre, who plans to continue living in Los Angeles for now but will make frequent trips to the MLB offices in New York. "I have that ability right now, and I think I'm going to like it."
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.