One phone call from Lonn Trost and Joe Torre was back in the Bronx.
After announcing he would not manage the Dodgers in 2011, the Yankees’ CEO placed a call to Torre on Friday inviting him to last night’s dedication of a monument for George Steinbrenner.
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The late Yankees’ owner was the sixth person to be enshrined in Monument Park, joining Miller Huggins, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio.
“I’m here because it’s a tribute to George,” Torre said before last night’s late game between the Yankees and Rays. “George was responsible for maybe of the best years of my life professionally. He hired me. Did we get along all the time? No, but it never lasted very long. I always felt like we had a special relationship.”
It was Torre’s first time back in the Bronx since he declined a one-year incentive laden contract following an acrimonious departure in 2007. He shortly took over in Los Angeles and the tension worsened with the release of “The Yankees Years,” a book that chronicled the inner workings of the clubhouse.
“I think you had two parties not knowing how to say goodbye,” Torre said of his departure. “And that’s what it turned out to be, the Yankees feeling I’d been here this long, didn’t want me to manage, and how do you approach that?”