Joe Torre visits Dodger Stadium
LOS ANGELES -- Joe Torre made his first visit to Dodger Stadium on Saturday since retiring last fall as the Los Angeles Dodgers manager, a visit he said was more personal, because he happened to be in town, than anything pertaining to his new position as Major League Baseball's new executive vice president for baseball operations.
Torre was joined at the ballpark by Kim Ng, the former Dodgers assistant general manager who is now working for Torre in the commissioner's office. Torre said most of his attention in his new job has been devoted to umpires and, specifically, their on-field demeanor.
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"It's no secret," Torre said. "We have talked about players staying in the game and stuff like that. We give [umpires] a lot of jobs to do other than safe-out, strike-ball, stuff like hurry up and get in the box, hurry up from the bullpen. When they do that, it's a little bit of a tense feeling because the players are the ones they are doing that with.
"I just think we may be wound a little bit tighter than we need to be. I am going to support [umpires], and I told them I don't expect them to get everything right because none of us is capable of that. I just want them to feel they are as much a part of this game as the people who put the uniform on."
Although Torre plans to continue living in Southern California, he said he has been working out of MLB's New York office since starting his new job and will continue to do so for the first couple of months. Once he is back here on a regular basis, he said he plans to visit both Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium often and that he will have a strong rooting interest when he does.
"I'll be looking at the umpires, to be honest with you," he said. "They are the team I will be rooting for."
Torre met briefly with his successor, new Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who was the team's hitting coach under Torre for the previous 2½ seasons, and he planned to visit general manager Ned Colletti's booth around the start of Sunday's game before making an early exit and heading home to spend time with his family.
Torre indicated he had no plans to meet with embattled Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, at least not on this visit.
"I'm just saying hello to a few of these guys, and I'll stop in to see the umpires while I'm here," he said. "I will be around for a couple of weeks after this week."
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.