ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -Now that Joe Torre's job appears safe, at least temporarily, the New York Yankees' manager doesn't want to hear any more about whether he might be fired.
He thinks a show of support from owner George Steinbrenner should be enough.
``I'd like to believe that this may be the last day we'll ask those questions for a while,'' Torre said. ``You don't want to think about it. ... The fact that George did what he did, hopefully it will make us have baseball be the center of attention.''
Torre said he called Steinbrenner on Monday night to thank him for the statement issued earlier in the day, in which Steinbrenner expressed confidence that Torre and general manager Brian Cashman can turn the Yankees around.
Steinbrenner's silence throughout New York's 9-14 start had stirred reports that he might change managers. The Yankees arrived in Texas after losing eight of nine, a stretch that included going 1-5 against rival Boston.
``Not that (George) wants to wait forever,'' Torre said. ``But we certainly want to get this turned around as quickly as we can.''
Steinbrenner's statement this week wasn't a total endorsement: He plainly stated he expected more from his $195 million team. He termed New York's slow start ``clearly not acceptable'' and challenged players and staff ``to show me and the fans what they are made of.''
Cashman said he was grateful for Steinbrenner's support, but added that his reaction to the Yankees' slow start was just.
``He wants to win,'' Cashman said. ``It's not a surprise to anybody, and it shouldn't be. He's the same when you lose, whether you lose one versus two, versus eight of the last nine. ... That's one thing that comes with George Steinbrenner is winning. He doesn't react well to losing, and that's fair.''
Cashman didn't speculate about how much time Steinbrenner's public vote of confidence might have bought he and Torre to turn things around.
``Those scenarios I can't speak to,'' he said.
New York's dismal, injury-riddled first month has put New York in last place in the AL East. Entering a three-game series with the Rangers, the Yankees were 6 1/2 games behind the Red Sox and tied for the second-fewest wins in baseball.
Injuries, especially to Chien-Ming Wang, Mike Mussina and Carl Pavano, have been a big reason for the poor start. The Yankees had a 5.02 ERA, 27th among the 30 major league teams, ahead of only Florida (5.13), Texas (5.37) and Tampa Bay (6.01).
New York became the first major league team to use five or more pitchers in 10 straight games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
But injuries aside, Steinbrenner said in the statement that, ``It is time to put excuses and talk away. It is time to see if people are ready to step up and accept their responsibilities.''
The Yankees started 4-8 two years ago - provoking a similarly stern statement from Steinbrenner - but the team rebounded to preserve its streak of AL East titles, which now stands at nine.
Yankees center fielder Johnny Damon said there's still time to do the same.
``We knew we had a bad month,'' Damon said. ``But if we can play 16-11, 16-10 for the rest of the months, we're walking into the playoffs. The big picture is always the sight to look to.''
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