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Torre to decide future later in season

Torre to decide future later in season

ANAHEIM -- Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who suspended talks for a contract extension in the spring, said Wednesday he won't decide his future until later in the season.

"I'm not close. I'll wait toward the end," said Torre, in the third and final year of a $13 million contract. "There are other things I want to do. I'm comfortable that the Dodgers left it to me, and they seem to be agreeable if I want to do it again.

"I'm really not thinking about it. Toward the end of the year, we'll see if I still want to go through another full year of it. I have to admit, there are days I leave the house wishing I could go to my daughter's softball practice."

That's a different tone than Torre had during the offseason, when he confirmed that he and the club were in talks to extend the contract for one more season of managing. At the Winter Meetings in December, general manager Ned Colletti said those talks had expanded to include a significant front-office advisory role. When Spring Training opened, Torre reiterated his interest in managing in 2011. He turns 70 next month.

"When I first came aboard, they offered two years and instead I asked for a third year [not wanting to duplicate the lame-duck status he had in New York]," Torre said in the spring. "Now I'm looking at a fourth. As long as it's still interesting, exciting. It was a great decision on my part to continue doing this. It's been fun. At this point in time, yeah, I want another year."

The issue of his future was raised two days before he leads the Dodgers against his former team, the New York Yankees, in Interleague Play at Dodger Stadium.

When Torre broke off talks in March, he said one reason was uncertainty over the workload expected after he stopped managing. He denied then, as well as Wednesday, that ownership uncertainty was a factor.

"If I want to manage, I'll continue to manage," he said. "If I decide I don't want to do it anymore, I can't see the ownership situation will change my mind.

"If I decide not to do it again, I'm sure there will be a time when I say, let's go again. When I make the decision, I'm sure I'll give it a pretty good run. You can't make a decision out of emotion. You weigh the pluses and minuses and take a shot."

Torre all but ruled out managing anywhere else and starting over. He has managed the Dodgers to consecutive National League West titles and appearances in the NL Championship Series, the first time for the club since 1977-78. The Dodgers led the league with 95 wins in 2009, the most for the franchise since 1985. His Dodgers record is 217-177. His 14 consecutive playoff appearances tied Bobby Cox for the all-time managerial record.

Whenever Torre steps down, the heir apparent is current hitting coach and Torre protégé Don Mattingly, who spoke with Cleveland about its managerial vacancy over the winter, then declined a chance to interview with the Washington Nationals for their vacant manager job.

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