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Yanks begin Tampa meetings, make no decisions

10/16/2007 - New York Yankees

TAMPA, Fla. -- Joe Torre's future with the New York Yankees remained
unclear Tuesday after team officials gathered at the home of owner
George Steinbrenner to debate whether the manager should return for
a 13th season.

"The meetings are adjourned for tonight," spokesman Howard
Rubenstein said shortly after the session ended about 4 p.m.
"There have been no decisions made, nor will there be any comment
today. The meetings will resume tomorrow."

Steinbrenner told The Record of Hackensack, N.J., on Oct. 6 that
he didn't think he'd bring back the manager if the Yankees failed
to advance to the AL Championship Series. Cleveland then eliminated
New York in four games, sending New York to its third straight
first-round exit.

The owner's sons, Hank and Hal, were seen at the owner's house,
along with son-in-law Felix Lopez. Yankees president Randy Levine,
chief operating officer Lonn Trost, general manager Brian Cashman
and assistant general manager Jean Afterman also were in town.

Torre has managed the Yankees to the playoffs in all 12 of his
seasons and helped the team win the World Series in four of his
first five years. But the Yankees haven't won the World Series
since 2000 and haven't won the AL pennant since 2003.

If Torre doesn't return, bench coach Don Mattingly is the
leading contender to take over. Yankees broadcaster Joe Girardi,
the NL Manager of the Year with the Florida Marlins in 2006, is
another possibility.

The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., reported Tuesday that Mattingly
told a member of the Steinbrenner family he does not feel ready for
the manager's job and is uncomfortable with replacing Torre.

Ray Schulte, a spokesman for Mattingly, said the report was
"completely false, totally fabricated and took Don completely by
surprise."

"If and when a decision is made concerning Joe's future, Don
will respond, at that time," Schulte said in a statement. "In the
meantime, he wants what is best for Joe and the Yankee
organization!"