Former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre accepted an invitation to participate for the first time in the team’s Old-Timers’ Day this season.
“I don’t know if I’m letting the cat out of the bag, but I was invited,” Torre told reporters last night during his first visit to Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida, since ending contract negotiations with the Yankees in October 2007. “I’m planning on going.”
Old-Timers’ Day at Yankee Stadium, an annual tradition, is scheduled for June 26.
Torre left the franchise after rejecting a one-year, $5 million offer, ending a 12-year run as Yankees manager that included four World Series titles and playoff appearances every year.
He then managed the Los Angeles Dodgers for three seasons before becoming Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of baseball operations last month.
Torre has been visiting spring training sites as part of his new job, and said the trip back to Steinbrenner Field “does feel strange, but it feels good.”
“It’s water under the bridge, I guess,” Torre said of his contentious departure from the Yankees, according to audio of his comments posted at CBSNewYork.com. “I never would have changed anything, to be honest with you. You wish that, the time I left, that it could have ended differently, but I don’t know how it could have. I don’t know if either one of us knew how to say goodbye at that point.”