Torre: Outclassing A's possible

N.Y. manager motivates with Berra

front office deals near, report says

Postseason notebook

Baseball

October 13, 2001|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF

New York Yankees manager Joe Torre called a short team meeting before yesterday's workout at Network Associates Stadium. The message: It's not over until it's over.

Torre even wore a hat with Yogi Berra's famous quote to yesterday's news conference.

"You try to clear air a little bit," he said. "I had a short meeting and told them, `Go out and enjoy dinner tonight and come back tomorrow and have some fun. You wouldn't be in the postseason if you couldn't win three games in a row.' "

Torre has made similar statements in the past and seen them come to fruition. He told owner George Steinbrenner during the 1996 World Series that the Yankees would come back from an 0-2 deficit to sweep three road games from the Atlanta Braves and win the world title at Yankee Stadium. That's exactly what happened.

The Yankees manager did not, however, predict that New York would come back to win the series.

Torre has apparently met recently with Steinbrenner about his contract, and the New York Daily News reported yesterday that the two are nearing a new deal.

Steinbrenner has made Torre an offer for either two or three years worth about $5 million a year, a source told the newspaper.

Steinbrenner also met with general manager Brian Cashman, whose contract expires on Oct. 31 - the same day Torre's does. A Daily News source said Steinbrenner has made Cashman a multi-year offer, perhaps for as long as four years.

Anything but ...

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said recently that anything short of a fourth straight world title would be a failure. Torre echoed the sentiment yesterday but softened it a bit in the face of an 0-2 Division Series deficit.

"That's what we're here for," he said. "When you're with the New York Yankees and you've hung as many banners as we have, certain things are required. Getting to the World Series is the first thing, and if you get there you have to feel you can win it. Winning three in a row, anything short of winning again is - I wouldn't say a failure - a disappointment."

Getting on top

The Yankees have not held a lead against the Oakland A's in the past 76 innings the two clubs have been on the field together.

"Getting a lead is going to be very important for us," Torre said, "seeing as we haven't had one yet."

Cox back with Braves

Braves manager Bobby Cox returned to Atlanta for Game 3 of his team's National League Division Series against the Houston Astros.

Cox skipped Thursday's workout at Turner Field to be with his ailing sister in Birmingham, Ala. Joy Rogers, 62, had a brain hemorrhage Wednesday.

"I was with her all day yesterday, stayed overnight and drove up this morning," said Cox, who arrived more than five hours before the game. "She's stable. She's still in intensive care, but the doctors say it looks like she's going to be OK," he said. "But she's not out of the woods yet."

Lopez gets ball for D'backs

With the Arizona Diamondbacks up 2-1 in the NL Division Series, they'll start Albie Lopez in Game 4 today against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Had Arizona lost last night, it would have used Cy Young Award candidate Curt Schilling on three days' rest followed by co-ace Randy Johnson in a potential Game 5.

Lopez was 9-19 this season, including 4-7 with a 4.00 ERA in 13 starts with the Diamondbacks after being acquired July 25 from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Wire reports contributed to this article.

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