Torre, Mattingly to attend Boss dedication
Ceremony honoring Steinbrenner scheduled for Monday
BALTIMORE -- Make room for some special guests. Former Yankees icons Joe Torre and Don Mattingly will be among those on hand for the unveiling of a monument honoring late principal owner George Steinbrenner on Monday in the Bronx. The Dodgers have an off-day on Monday, which would allow the current and future managers to attend the ceremony.
"I'm looking forward to it," Torre said Sunday of his planned trip to the new Yankee Stadium. "Lonn Trost called and invited me and he called and invited Donnie to come for the memorial for George at the park."
The due of former Yankees made news last week, when the Dodgers announced that Torre would step down as manager and that Mattingly would take over next season. Mattingly served as both bench coach and hitting coach under Torre in New York, and he's reprised his role as hitting coach in Los Angeles. Now, he's coming home to the scene of his greatest exploits.
"Mr. Steinbrenner has been great to me and my family," said Mattingly. "The things he's done that nobody even knows about ... After I was done playing and I had back trouble, he flew me back to New York for the surgery and put me up at a hotel. That's the kind of stuff he does that nobody knows. And they called the other day and made sure we knew that they wanted us there.
"Secondly, I'm excited for Joe, I really am, that they asked him back. ... There's been some, whatever, the last couple years about Joe and the Yankees and the way it ended. I just think this is mending fences and it needs to happen and it did and it's just great."
Mattingly wasn't alone in that opinion, as a few prominent Yankees issued statements along the same lines.
"It's great that they get the opportunity to come back to the Stadium -- I'm sure they'll be well-received by everyone," said captain Derek Jeter after hearing of the reports.
"I'm looking forward to it," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Neither Torre nor Mattingly has been back at Yankee Stadium since the end of the 2007 season. That offseason, Torre turned down a chance to return as the club's manager, while Mattingly was bypassed in favor of Girardi.
Torre had also written "The Yankee Years," an occasionally less-than-flattering account of his time in the Bronx. Still, Torre is looking forward to seeing some old friends and to visiting the new Yankee Stadium for the first time.
"That's an add-on for me," he said of the new stadium. "The excitement would have been for the World Series last year [with the Dodgers]. I'm just paying my respects to George and his family because of what they've meant to me and my career. That's never overlooked in my mind. I'm glad to be able to pay my respects."
"It'll be great to see him," said Andy Pettitte of his former manager. "Obviously, Joe means a lot to this organization, what he did and what he represented here. ... He ought to be part of this and part of this organization for a long time."
On Friday, when discussing Torre's decision to step down as manager of the Dodgers, New York general manager Brian Cashman denied the rumors that there was a rift between Torre and the franchise he led to four World Series titles.
"There are no issues with Joe Torre and the Yankees," Cashman said on Friday. "In terms of what Joe did and what we all did together, no one is ever going to change that. No one wants to change that. We're all really proud of what we all did together.
"He's welcome here any time."
Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.