Torre speaks about decisionFelt underappreciated by Yankee management
Torre immediately thanked George Steinbrenner for entrusting him with his ballclub for the last 12 seasons. He also thanked Arthur Richman, the Yankees' Senior Media Advisor who recommended him for the job back in 1995, when no one else would give him a chance. Torre then thanked his players, coaches and fans.
"It's a very special place to manage and play baseball," Torre said.
Torre then went into talking about what transpired with his contract situation, when he met with Yankees brass for approximately 20 minutes, after general manager Brian Cashman informed him of the offer over the phone Wednesday night. Cashman explained to Torre that the contract offer was most likely not going to change and there was little to no room for negotiation.
Even with that being said, Torre requested to go down to Tampa in an effort to speak with Yankee executives face-to-face. The offer did not change, so Torre told to the Yankees he would not accept it. The two-time manager of the year felt that, after all his years of service, it was time to part ways.
"I've been manager for 12 years, motivation was not needed. Taking that offer was not the right thing for me or the right thing for my players," said Torre, who added that the waiting was the toughest part. "It's like going to the doctor and waiting for test results."
Torre was discouraged with the offer, but had no comment on whether it was given to him knowing that he would refuse it. He did emphasize that it was not about the money, but rather the length of the contract and felt there was no commitment from the Yankees on more than a one-year offer to a manager who has proven himself over his tenure.
"You need commitment and trust, and you can not have one without the other," Torre said.
Throughout the hour-long press conference, Torre covered everything from his thoughts on whether he might manage again, to advice for his successor, to his reflection on his 12 seasons in New York. He got choked up a couple of times when he spoke about certain topics and players. As usual, Torre handled himself with class and dignity.
While answering each question from a media contingent that asked him so many questions over the last decade, Torre answered without throwing any low blows at the parties that may not have wanted him back as Yankees skipper. He did not reveal much about his future, nor did he want to give any suggestions on who should be the next manager other than to say it should be someone who is very familiar with the situation with the fans and media.
"I'm very much at peace with my decision," Torre said. "At 55 years old I didn't anticipate starting out on this journey that ended yesterday."