Dodgers’ Joe Torre unsure of return

Lost in the aftermath of last night’s crushing 8-6 loss in 10 innings to the Yankees last night were comments that manager Joe Torre made before the game on Sunday.  Torre told the media that he has yet to make up his mind about his future as Dodgers manager, but that he will make a decision by the end of the 2010 season, possibly by September.

Torre, who is in the last year of a 3-year, $13 million contract, had broken off contract extension talks with GM Ned Colletti during spring training in March.  He also added that the key factor in his decision is his health.  Torre survived prostate cancer after being diagnosed during the 1999 season, when he managed the Yankees.

This news comes at a time when Torre has come under fire for the Dodgers’ recent slump, and on the heels of the season-long saga over the pending divorce of team owner Frank McCourt and his estranged wife, Jamie

One aspect of Torre’s statement should bear noting – the McCourts’ divorce trial is scheduled to begin in August, which should lead to a resolution as to who owns the team by the end of this season.

A report earlier this season also indicated that Torre might not want to return for the 2011 season, given the team’s uncertain ownership future and divorce-related payroll constraints.  Torre later denied this rumor, but the doubt still lingers.

Should Torre leave, the likely successor is another former Yankee (and current Dodgers hitting coach), Don Mattingly.  For what it’s worth, legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully gives Mattingly his seal of approval.

So the questions still linger.  But at least Torre doesn’t have to deal with Alex Rodriguez ignoring him anymore.

Chris Lardieri covers the Los Angeles Dodgers for and has written about Major League Baseball for Inside Edge, a scouting company that provides content to ESPN Insider and Yahoo Sports. He previously wrote for 1766, the Rutgers Alumni Magazine, and popular blog, ‘The Outer Loop’.  Be sure to follow Chris on Twitter for more MLB and sports observations.

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