The managerial transition press conference

The press conference, blow-by-blow.

Joe Torre looks emotional as he sits with Don Mattingly and Ned Colletti.

Frank McCourt is making brief introductory remarks, thanking Torre, including for always doing the right thing for the organization, including the difficult trips overseas in Spring Training. He then welcomes Mattingly, jokingly asking, “Are you ready?”

Colletti speaks next, also with the praisy stuff for Torre and Mattingly. Mattingly’s work ethic is big for Colletti.

Torre: “This decision was a long time coming. It wasn’t easy.”

“Baseball has been my life, and hopefully will continue to be my life in some other capacity.”

He reiterates that he thought, after he left the Yankees, that he was done managing until the Dodgers called. He was reluctant to accept at first because New York was his daughter Andrea’s only home, but his wife convinced him she would adjust.

“This year has been a struggle, no question, but the fun of managing was still there. I was telling someone today, I manage a lot by instinct, and you have to make decisions by instinct … and that’s what I did today.”

“Up until the All-Star Game, we were very excited about where we were going. Since then, we have struggled, and I have (had trouble) finding something to help. … During the second half of the year, it got to the point where I just felt that this ballclub needed a different voice, a younger voice, and there’s no one I feel more secure in turning the ballclub over to than Donnie.”

“Donnie, it’s all yours, pal.”

Mattingly: “Watching Joe the way he treated people, the way he handled situations, there was always a different perspective when you talk to Joe. … Joe’s helped me, and I thank Jo so much.”

“I think maybe I sabotaged his second half … our offense since the break. Sometimes you think you don’t quite know what you’re doing out there.”

“But I’m excited about this opportunity. I’ve been working a long time toward it.”

“I’m sure I’m going to make mistakes and plenty of them.” But he added he would learn and work hard to overcome them.

Now, questions from the media.

Back to Torre:

“Turning 70 (was the turning point). It sounds funny because I don’t feel hard, and I hope that continues. … but as I said a few minutes ago, maybe they need a different voice. … Even though the game has not changed in terms of the way you play it and the way you win it, but the players have changed.”

“(Ally) didn’t believe me until we’re sitting here today that I wasn’t going to do this anymore.”

“Ned and I are going to talk about (a next job) sometime in the next month probably.”

Colletti: “Joe and I talked the other day in San Francisco … very recently, a couple of days ago.”

“When I talked to Joe about coming here, I talked about … the continuity we’d like to establish. I’d like to have a successor on the staff.”

“We talked to Major League Baseball, and told them what our thoughts were, and they gave their blessing to it (exempting the team from minority interviews).”

Torre: “I don’t anticipate (managing somewhere else). If I say I never want to manage again, it closes a door and really makes me feel old. I don’t anticipate managing again, but I’m certainly not going to not listen to somebody if it sounds intriguing. … But I certainly don’t have any visions of that being the case, that I’m going to manage.”

Mattingly: “I know the one thing is, you’ve gotta be yourself. There’s going to be parts of Joe in me, but there’s also Billy Martin in me, there’s parts of Lou Piniella in me, there’s parts of Dallas Green. … (But) I’ve got to do it my way.”

“There’s only one way to play the game, and that’s the right way. Small things change games. Guys might do different things (in the locker room) but you still … do what you have to do to win the ballgame.”

“Billy Martin was lots of things, as a young player you were catching the grief. I learned that real quick … if it’s between you and an old guy, you’re getting the blame.”

“Yogi, I played for Yogi, and if you were 0 for 4 or 4 for 4, he treated you exactly the same. I really felt that was the way to go.”

“I have a confidence in myself. I feel ready. It’s baseball, and I’ve been around the game a long time, not necessarily in the manager seat, but you have relationships with players, you see how the game’s played when you win (and) when you lose.”

“I know people are going to question, and that’s understandable. In my heart, I know I can do this. It’s not something you back away from … it’s a simple process, a belief in myself that I can do anything I put my mind to.”

Torre: “Right now our plans are to be in California, yes. Ned and I are going to talk next month. We moved our Safe at Home Foundation (here) … and certainly going to spend more time helping Ally.”

“I just need to be involved in baseball, because I’m most familiar in that, most comfortable in that – something where I think I can be of use.”

Mattingly: “Definitely want a bench coach with experience. Something Ned and I will sit down over the next few weeks and discuss.”

“I’ve seen ’08 and I’ve seen ’09, and we were able to do some pretty good things. I’ve also seen young players come and struggle at times … you hit a little plateau and you have to reevaluate where you’re at … have to take that step back to go forward.”

“I’ve seen it before (in the younger players), I know it’s there. It’s just a matter of reaching it.”

Torre: “I had heard that Los Angeles was laid back. In the time I’ve been here, not only have they made me feel welcome here, but I sense so much passion at this stadium that made me feel very special, and I know the players fed off of that, so I’m certainly going to miss the fans out here.”

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