Torre 'not ready' for formal offer

Updated: March 1, 2004, 3:56 PM ET
Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner left no doubt he wants Joe Torre to be his manager.

Torre, in the final year of his contract, has guided the Yankees to four World Series championships and six AL pennants since 1996.

"We'd like to keep him ... sure would," Steinbrenner said Saturday. "I want Joe to be happy and satisfied. Right now I just want to leave Joe to his own pace. When he's ready, he'll make up his mind and that's good enough for me."

Yankees general partner Steve Swindal, Steinbrenner's son-in-law, and Torre have held general discussions.

"When he's ready, he'll come and talk to me about it," Steinbrenner said. "I want my son-in-law and Joe to get it worked out anyway they do it."

Torre has not decided whether he wants to manage past this season. He said no formal offer has been presented.

"We've talked about the possibilty of one," Torre said. "But I told him (Swindal), let's just keep talking on a regular basis. We may get there, but I'm just not ready to do that."

Torre does like the fact Steinbrenner wants him back.

"I'm very comfortable with the conversion, but it's still something I'm going to have to let the excitement of spring training wear off a little bit and then get realistic about what makes sense," Torre said.

"If you ask me now, and Steve Swindal asked me that, could you envision yourself next year at this time not managing and I said 'no.' I just want to make sure that just wasn't excitement of starting spring training after a winter of no baseball."

The relationship between Torre and Steinbrenner was strained last season.

"I like the fact that George and I are back on a level of a mutual respect," Torre said. "It's different than it was last year."

Steinbrenner said he's happier than he has ever been because of the way the Yankees are going about their business this spring.

"I'm certainly at rest with what's happening on the field," Steinbrenner said. "I like the look of everything we're doing. They're not thinking about anything but getting prepared for the season.

"They know what I expect. I don't have to be on them every moment. I don't say they have to win every day, but let them not perform to their maximum and then they're going to hear about it."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press