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Meetings on Torre start Tuesday

10/14/2007 9:03 PM ET
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees officials will convene at their complex in Tampa, Fla., starting Tuesday morning to debate the future of Joe Torre.

Torre has led New York to the playoffs in all 12 of his seasons, but owner George Steinbrenner told The Record on Oct. 6 that he didn't think he'd bring back the manager if the Yankees failed to advance to the AL championship series.

Cleveland then eliminated New York in four games, the Yankees' third straight first-round exit.

Steinbrenner will hear advice from sons Hal and Hank; son-in-law Felix Lopez; team president Randy Levine; chief operating officer Lonn Trost; and general manager Brian Cashman.

Levine said Sunday that the final decision remains with the 77-year-old owner. Hank and Hal have had a larger voice in the team's operations in the last year.

"He's still the boss. He's acting like the chairman of a major company," Levine said. "As in many other instances in major league baseball, his kids have stepped up and are devoting a lot of time on the day-to-day running of the team."

If Torre isn't brought back, bench coach Don Mattingly is the leading contender to take over. Yankees broadcaster Joe Girardi, who won NL Manager of the Year with the Florida Marlins in 2006, is another possibility.

Baseball operations staff will join the high command as the Yankees debate player moves. The top of that agenda is formulating a strategy for dealing with Alex Rodriguez, who can opt out of the remaining three seasons of his record $252 million, 10-year contract.

New York also must figure out its approach with closer Mariano Rivera and catcher Jorge Posada, both eligible for free agency, and whether to exercise a $16 million option of right fielder Bobby Abreu.

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