LOS ANGELES (AP) -Joe Torre will be front and center for his first day in a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform.
The new manager's introductory news conference Monday was to be held in center field at Dodger Stadium, not in some room in the ballpark's interior, a first according to team spokesman Josh Rawitch.
Torre left the New York Yankees after 12 seasons and four World Series titles, and he will follow Casey Stengel and become just the second person to manage both storied franchises. Stengel led the Brooklyn Dodgers to losing records from 1934-36, moved over to the Boston Braves, then guided the Yankees to seven Series titles from 1949-60.
The 67-year-old Torre replaced Grady Little, who quit last week, and takes over an underperforming team that hasn't won the Series since 1988 and finished fourth in the NL West last season at 82-80.
Torre, who grew up in Brooklyn rooting for the New York Giants, guided the Yankees to postseason appearances in all of his seasons. He left when the Yankees offered him a $5 million, one-year contract with $3 million in performance bonuses that Torre termed ``an insult.'' He made $7.5 million this season, the last of a $19.2 million, three-year agreement.
Exactly two weeks after he left the Yankees, Torre agreed to a $13 million, three-year deal with the Dodgers.
``I'm certainly not ready to move somewhere and not do anything, I can tell you that,'' Torre said after New York was eliminated by Cleveland.
He'll be managing the Dodgers in the 50th anniversary season of their move west and returning to the National League for the first time since 1995, when the St. Louis Cardinals replaced him with Tony La Russa. Torre also managed the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves.
``To me the Dodgers were the Yankees of the National League,'' Torre said on WFAN radio last week a few hours before he was hired. ``People respected them. They always won.''
Torre is used to California. He was a broadcaster with the California Angels for six years before the Cardinals hired him in 1990.
``I think he's going to do a good job in the clubhouse because he's got great leadership abilities,'' former Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda said. ``He knows how to handle a ballclub.''
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