Torre has lunch with Steinbrenner, but does not discuss contract

Updated: September 26, 2007, 10:56 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Yankees manager Joe Torre and owner George Steinbrenner discussed a variety of topics over lunch Wednesday, but Torre's future was not one of them.

In the final year of his contract, Torre spent about an hour at the Yankees' spring training facility near Tampa with Steinbrenner, general manager Brian Cashman, Steinbrenner's sons Hal and Hank, and team senior vice president Felix Lopez.

It was the first time Torre and Steinbrenner have talked in person since the Yankees' last trip to Tampa Bay, right after the All-Star break in July.

"We don't talk about it," Torre said of his contract status. "We just talked about team, basically. They wanted to get a feel on what Brian and I thought about the guys we're going forward with."

Torre's contract situation will be addressed after the season.

Torre said Steinbrenner was upbeat about the team, which began the season 21-29 but had a magic number of one to clinch a postseason berth entering play Wednesday. New York failed to secure a playoff spot Tuesday night, blowing a five-run lead in a 6-5, 10-inning loss to the Devil Rays.

The Yankees wrap up a three-game set in Tampa Bay on Thursday, then conclude the regular season with a three-game series in Baltimore. New York still has an outside shot at catching Boston in the AL East, but trailed the Red Sox by three games entering Wednesday.

"I thought he was fine," Torre said of Steinbrenner. "I said, 'How are you doing?' He said, 'Not so good.' I knew right away that he was fine. I said, 'You and me both.' I was very comfortable. I enjoyed it."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press