Former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre speaks to the media prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays Monday at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Joe Torre: 'I Won't Be Managing The Mets'

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Joe Torre 'Closing The Door' On Mets Managerial Job

Joe Torre said today he was  "closing the door on managing the Mets," squelching a firestorm he created earlier this week when he said there was “no question” he would take a call from Fred Wilpon to discuss the job.

“I’m closing the door on managing the Mets, and probably everybody else. I don’t want to mislead anybody,” Torre said. “I’ve known Fred Wilpon forever. But I’m not going to manage. Let’s put it that way. I won’t be managing the Mets, and I thought I made that clear yesterday - about taking a call, as opposed to looking for a job.”

Current Mets manager Jerry Manuel was stung by what he thought was Torre campaigning for his job. Torre apologized to Manuel for that.

“It certainly wasn’t my intention of doing that and making people believe that I wanted to manage the Mets,” Torre said. "I think people tend to forget that I spent 12 years with the Yankees and formed too good of a relationship with their fans to move across the water and all of a sudden make them mad at me,"

This is probably a good thing. I’m not sure the Mets wanted to be in the position of having to reject the popular 70-year-old Torre. They really need to start over, and the iconic ex-Yankee skipper might not be the right guy for that job.

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Manuel Not Happy About Torre's Public Interest In His Job

New York Mets manager Jerry Manuel Tuesday questioned Joe Torre’s integrity in the wake of Torre’s saying there was “no question” he would listen if the Mets offered him their managerial job.

Manuel said he did not hear Torre’s comments firsthand, but suggested any discussion about interest in a managerial job that is currently filled implies disrespect and a lack of integrity.

“Joe gave me a great opportunity to go to the All-Star Game in ’99,” Manuel said on Tuesday, referring to when the then-Yankees manager named him to the American League coaching staff while Manuel managed the White Sox. "I don’t know him on a personal basis. But when things like that come out or are said, you question integrity. That’s what comes to my mind. Like I said, I don’t know him on a personal level to say whether he’s that or that. And I did not see, or I have not read, exactly what has been said. All I know is what I hear. And I don’t go to look for it.

“I’ve heard about the comments,” Manuel said about Torre. “This is from hearsay. When people tell me, they may add a little something here, add a little something there. But I find it also curious when someone comments about a job that someone already has.”

Campaigning for currently-filled managerial jobs is generally considered a no-no in baseball. I can, of course, understand Manuel’s being upset about this. Fact is, though, Manuel keeping his job beyond the end of this season would be a stunner.

Everyone other than Manuel seems to have figured that out already.

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Torre: 'No Question' He Would Be Interested In Managing Mets

Joe Torre attended the unveiling of the monument to George Steinbrenner Monday night at Yankee Stadium. Prior to the event, Torre added fuel to the speculation he might be interested in managing the New York Mets if that job opens at the end of the season.

“Oh, there is no question,” Torre told ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian O’Connor after being asked if he would listen if Fred and Jeff Wilpon called him about the Mets’ managerial job. “That is why I didn’t shut the door. I saw Freddie [Wilpon] when they unveiled Commissioner [Bud] Selig’s statue [in Milwaukee,] but we just said hello.”

The Mets could have interest, but first they are expected to decide if they will reassign current general manager Omar Minaya. A new GM would likely have a large say in who their next manager will be. Current Mets manager Jerry Manuel is not expected to return.

Along with current ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine, another ex-Mets manager, Torre could emerge as a very popular choice among the team’s fan base.

“I’m honored, you know, that people would think of me,” said Torre, who announced last week he would not return to the Dodgers next season. “Not too many guys 70 years old, people would think about going somewhere as a manager.”

Earlier in the day, Torre said that he hadn’t spoken to anyone about a new managerial opportunity.

“I have not had and nobody that I know of has had contact with anybody,” Torre told WFAN in New York when asked about the Mets on Monday. “I am curious. When the season is over, I hope the phone will be ringing.”

Torre does love the spotlight, and I speculated earlier that he would love the job if it is offered. He sure would be a lot more fun to deal with than Jerry Manuel.

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