Yanks' possible Torre replacements include Mattingly, Girardi
NEW YORK -- Don Mattingly, Joe Girardi and Tony Pena were asked Friday to interview with the New York Yankees as possible replacements for Joe Torre.
Mattingly's agent, Ray Schulte, said general manager Brian Cashman reached out to start the manager interview process.
"Don confirmed his interest and will travel to Tampa early next week to meet with Yankee ownership," Schulte said.
A day after Torre rejected a one-year offer to return for a 13th season, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner spent four hours at Legends Field, where he was joined by sons Hank and Hal, son-in-law Felix Lopez and team president Randy Levine.
"We're going to be interviewing maybe as many as five, six candidates, and we'll see how that goes," Hank Steinbrenner said. "The job, there's been no real decision on that yet. They're going to be real interviews, and probably starting next week."
A decision isn't expected to be announced until after the World Series.
"I would assume it would be after that," Steinbrenner said. "After we do the interviews, we'll be talking about it before we make a final decision."
Hank Steinbrenner watched Torre's news conference in Rye Brook on television. Torre termed the $5 million, one-year offer, with $3 million in performance bonuses, "an insult" but said he was thankful for the opportunity George Steinbrenner gave him.
"Joe handled it with class as expected," Hank Steinbrenner said. "The big thing that I want to make clear, and as everybody does, the offer was genuine. It was not some kind of bluff, it was a genuine offer, and we were genuinely disappointed that he turned it down. That's the truth. It wasn't a ploy. It was a true offer."
Mattingly spent this year as the Yankees' bench coach following three seasons as hitting coach. He declined comment Thursday but issued a statement Friday.
"Joe Torre exhibits class, dignity and a winning attitude, both on and off the field," the former Yankees captain said. "Those of us who coached or played under Joe know he is someone very, very special."
Girardi, a former Yankees player and coach, was voted NL Manager of the Year in 2006 after keeping Florida into contention until late in the season. Pena has spent two seasons as the Yankees' first-base coach.
Torre said during his news conference that there was only one thing he'd change about his tenure.
"If I had something to do over again, it's something weird, but it would probably be in Game 2 this year in the division series," he said. "I wish I had gone out the damn mound and had the bugs all over me, where I could have maybe talked the umpires into [stopping] play here for a little bit.
"I sent my trainer out. I got about halfway out, for some reason I'm thinking about trips to the mound, I don't want to get charged. And I figured my trainer could take care of it, not that he didn't take care of it, but you know in retrospect and going back, I wish I'd have been a little more proactive in that area."
Joba Chamberlain, distracted by the midges, threw two wild pitches that allowed the tying run to score in the eighth inning. The Yankees went on to lose 2-1 in 11 innings and fell behind 2-0 in the best-of-five series, which they lost in four games.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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YANKEES IN TRANSITION
Joe Torre's 12-year tenure with the Yankees came to an end after he turned down a one-year, $5 million offer to return as their manager. Joe Girardi has agreed to a three-year contract to be Torre's successor.
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