Torre apologizes to Manuel, rules out Mets

Torre apologizes to Manuel, rules out Mets

LOS ANGELES -- With an apology to the current Mets skipper attached, Dodgers manager Joe Torre said on Tuesday that he does not want to manage the Mets.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel was irked that Torre told ESPNNewYork.com and radio station WFAN on Monday that he would take a phone call from Mets ownership if it reached out to him about managing the club. Manuel, who's been on the hot seat all season, responded by calling Torre's integrity into question.

Torre announced last week he would not return as the Dodgers manager next season.

"Well, I apologize," Torre said Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. "And I certainly -- he's right that I shouldn't have, and I didn't think I did. Somebody asked me if I would take a call from [Mets owner] Fred Wilpon and I, you know, I've known Fred Wilpon forever. ... I won't be managing the Mets."

Torre was in New York on Monday for the unveiling ceremony of a monument to George Steinbrenner, the Yankees' owner who passed away in July, and whom Torre won four championships under in 12 seasons. The relationship Torre established with Yankees fans in that time is what he said would keep him from the rival Mets.

"It's something I regret doing, if I knew I was doing it at the time. It was never intended," Torre said. "When I said I'd take a call from Fred Wilpon, I had no intention of making people believe I wanted to manage the Mets. I think people tend to forget that I spent 12 years with the Yankees and formed a relationship with their fans. To move across the water would all of a sudden make them mad at me."

Torre joked that the adoration held for him in New York, too, would rule him out from poaching Terry Francona's job with the Red Sox as well. Still, for his belief that he likely won't be managing again, he continues to leave the possibility open generally.

"I'm closing the door on managing the Mets, and probably everybody else," Torre said. "I don't want to mislead anybody, and my intention when I leave here as the manager, that last Sunday, I'm anticipating that'll be my last game as manager. But I don't want to go out here and say, 'I'm definitely not doing this, that and the other thing,' aside from the Mets quote."

Torre began his managerial career with the Mets in 1977. He spent six years with the team before taking over the Braves, the Cardinals and then the Yankees in 1996.

Torre said he will meet with Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti in October to discuss a potential role in-house.