After spending the previous 51 years in professional baseball as a player and manager, Joe Torre has hung up his cleats for good in exchange for a suit and tie, and a new role in Major League Baseball. His new position labeled as, MLB’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, Torre will be in charge of baseball’s on-field operations and be Bud Selig’s public administrative face. He will be in charge of all of the minor leagues being somewhat of a liaison between the Commissioner’s Office and the managers and general managers in the game. So all trades, transactions, and disciplinary actions will be handled by Torre, in addition to any big announcements that need to be made about the game. If Major League Baseball is going to continue to grow and become the universal game it wants to become, the game needs to undergo some changes and Torre will bring immense knowledge and fairness to the game.
Joe Torre joined the Dan Patrick Show to talk about when the last time he had a spring off, what is his role right now with Major League Baseball, and what he would change about baseball.
When the last time he had a spring off:
“Uh that is a good question, my goodness gracious. I go all the way back to 1959 or something crazy like that. I broadcast for almost six years for the Angels, but I showed up in spring training, although I am going to show up this year too. I am scheduled to leave tomorrow to go to Arizona for a time.”
Whether he has the feeling now that he needs to fill out a lineup card:
“You know, I don’t, and I am happy to say that because last year when I made the decision I had given it a lot of thought then. You know you look around the room and you see a lot of young faces with the wide open eyes and you are saying, ‘You know what? Somebody else should be doing this.’ Not that I didn’t have the enthusiasm for it, I think I had the realization that maybe the time is here. Again, you don’t know for sure until January rolls around to see if you are starting to get anxious, and I really wasn’t. Of course I was involved in conversations with Bud Selig about this position, it really excited me. The fact that I could stay connected with baseball and not have to put on, as my wife likes to call them, my play clothes.”
What is his role right now with Major League Baseball:
“Well right now, we’re organizing it. You hit it, I have the title of, Executive Vice President. I have never had anything like that before but I am basically in charge of the minor leagues, so all trades and transactions, discipline, Latin America, really a liaison with the commissioner and the managers, the general managers, in fact, that is what I am going to do now. My plan is to start in Arizona and move onto Florida and meet with every manager and general manager for not very long but just want to get a feel for what priorities they think we should pay attention to. Hopefully that personal tough will give us a good start.”
What he would change about baseball:
“There is no question. I remember sitting there, and I think we all have been on an airplane at night and say, ‘This isn’t fair. This should happen and that should happen.’ Then you are sitting, then I have been a member of that committee that the commissioner put together for a little over a year and you realize that it is not that easy to put a schedule together, but I think there is certainly a feel that something could be better. Not that you have the answer at hand but you certainly want to try and see if the game will be better for everybody, obviously including the fans. I don’t want to say that is my first priority but I think one of my goals is the umpires. It looks like we have exiled the umpires here as far as giving them so much dirty work to do, hurry the game up, this, that and the other thing, I think that it’s important for them to know they are as much a part of the game as the players and the managers are.”
Whether managers want more replay:
“You know we are talking about that in our committee. I don’t think, and of course I have not talked to all of the managers, I will probably get a better feel for that as I go around these next few weeks, but I don’t think any of the managers feel that the game should be perfect, that everything, that there shouldn’t be a missed call. It is an imperfect game. I can see maybe the replays being expanded somewhat but I don’t think to the point of making sure that everything is perfect because I don’t think any of us want that.”