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Yanks' possible Torre replacements include Mattingly, Girardi

10/20/2007 - MLB New York Yankees

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.