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A-Rod, Torre exchange pleasantries

A-Rod, Torre exchange pleasantries

LOS ANGELES -- Alex Rodriguez and Joe Torre finally chatted and hugged behind the batting cage on Sunday at Dodger Stadium, quelling the assumption of any supposed rancor from their days together with the Yankees.

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It took three days for the much-anticipated meeting to happen, and it lasted less than a minute. The former Yankees and current Dodgers manager put his hands on A-Rod's shoulders and the Yanks third baseman had a smile on his face the entire time.

A-Rod trotted over to meet with Torre just as the Yankees took the field for batting practice. As he approached, Torre playfully put his fists up and took a few steps back.

"It went fine. I knew it was going to go fine," Torre said as he headed toward the clubhouse about an hour prior to the rubber game of the series. "I think it was just a convenience thing before that. He came over and he was who he always is as far as I'm concerned. I was never uncomfortable with Alex.

"He's a good kid, and to me, I think too much is always made of this stuff. I think in our hearts, we know what's going on."

A-Rod said he didn't want to speak about the context of the conversation after the Yankees came from behind to win 8-6 in 10 innings. In the game, he hit a sixth-inning, two-run homer, his 11th of the season and 594th of his career.

"I thought it was important for me to go over there and I thought it was the mature thing to do," he said. "I thought in my heart it was important to not let things linger and to build on what I've tried to build here the last two years. I've taken some steps forward and I'll go from there.

"You don't want to let things linger. You don't know when the next time is that Joe and I are going to see each other. At the end of the day, I just wanted to be a gentleman and do the right thing."

On Friday, Rodriguez said he wasn't trying to avoid Torre prior to that night's game. And Torre said he didn't take it as a sign of disrespect that A-Rod didn't talk with him.

Rodriguez said he simply "didn't see" Torre standing by the batting cage when he jogged out to the field. He also said he expected the two to talk sometime during the weekend.

On Saturday, Torre was involved with personal matters and was not on the field during batting practice.

At issue seemed to be comments that were attributed to Torre in his 2009 book entitled, "The Yankee Years," co-authored with Tom Verducci.

In it, Torre talked about A-Rod's fragile psyche and mimicked a play on words used by his teammates at the time to describe Rodriguez as "A-Fraud."

A-Rod may have inflamed tensions this past week in Phoenix when he chose not to answer questions about Torre when the Yankees took two out of three from the D-backs.

But Torre said the book never came up during their short conversation.

"No, not at all," Torre said. "First of all, anything I said in the book had already been out there in the public. There was never anything Alex could have read in that book that he hadn't already talked to me about. And even the stuff that Tom Verducci found out about the A-Fraud thing? Players were doing that in front of him. They were kidding with him, jabbing him with it in the clubhouse all the time.

"So it was never a behind-anybody's-back thing. We never did anything behind anybody's back in that clubhouse. That's why I never had any concern that he wasn't talking to me because I knew that was never the case."

Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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