TAMPA, Fla. Still no decision on Joe Torre.
The New York Yankees manager remained in limbo Wednesday after a second day of meetings by team hierarchy failed to reach a conclusion.
"All we're worried about is the process of making sure that we come to the right decision. When we do, we'll get everybody involved," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said before leaving Legends Field and heading to the airport.
Owner George Steinbrenner arrived just before 1 p.m. but did not comment as he entered the spring-training ballpark. He told The Record of Hackensack, N.J., on Oct. 6 that he didn't think he'd bring back Torre if the Yankees failed to advance to the AL championship series. Cleveland then eliminated New York in four games, sending New York to its third straight first-round exit.
Cashman said the Yankees are maintaining their position that they will not negotiate with Alex Rodriguez if he terminates his $252 million, 10-year contract. Rodriguez, who has three seasons left on the deal, must decide by the 10th day following the World Series.
"I can reaffirm that if Alex Rodriguez opts out of his contract, then we will not participate in free agency," Cashman said.
Torre has managed the Yankees to the playoffs in all 12 of his seasons and helped the team win the World Series in four of his first five years. But the Yankees haven't won the World Series since 2000 and haven't won the AL pennant since 2003.
If Torre doesn't return, bench coach Don Mattingly is the leading contender to take over. Yankees broadcaster Joe Girardi, the NL Manager of the Year with the Florida Marlins in 2006, is another possibility.
The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., reported Tuesday that Mattingly told a member of the Steinbrenner family he does not feel ready for the manager's job and is uncomfortable with replacing Torre.
Ray Schulte, a spokesman for Mattingly, said the report was "completely false, totally fabricated and took Don completely by surprise."
"If and when a decision is made concerning Joe's future, Don will respond, at that time," Schulte said in a statement. "In the meantime, he wants what is best for Joe and the Yankee organization!"