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Torre meets Boss

Posted: Sunday, June 15, 2003

NEW YORK Joe Torre reiterated Saturday that he and George Steinbrenner are doing just fine, with the Yankees manager insisting he's not worried about being fired despite a recent slide that ''stimulated the owner.''

''I don't think our relationship has ever changed,'' Torre said before New York played the St. Louis Cardinals.

''I don't feel any less secure,'' he said. ''The losing doesn't make me fearful of losing my job.''

Torre has guided New York to four World Series championships since taking over at the beginning of the 1996 season.

The Yankees began this year 20-4, then scuffled through a 16-24 skid that dropped them behind Boston in the AL East. On Wednesday, six Houston pitchers combined for the first no-hitter against the Yankees since 1958.

The prolonged slump prompted Steinbrenner to say it was up to Torre to figure out how to turn the team around.

There have been some changes. Reliever Juan Acevedo was released and DH Ruben Sierra, who once called Torre ''a liar,'' was acquired in a trade with Texas.

Also, Steinbrenner intervened two weeks ago when he said he thought pitcher Jose Contreras should be starting.

''There's always a push, there's always pressure,'' Torre said. ''For me, it's been more public over the last three-to-four weeks. I think the public has gotten more of a taste of it.''

Before Thursday's game against the Astros, Steinbrenner visited Torre in the manager's office at Yankee Stadium.

''It was a positive meeting because we did have an opportunity to talk,'' Torre said. ''Just to talk about some things, it was good for me.''

They also got to clear up what Torre described as a ''misunderstanding'' about a recent missed phone call from Steinbrenner.

''I wanted to talk to him,'' Steinbrenner told the Newark Star-Ledger. ''I called him. He was out with his daughter. That made it all right. Everything is all right. I don't have a problem with Joe at all. I'm 100 percent behind him.

''Don't start anything controversial because there is no controversy between he and I.''

Torre said he actually hears from Steinbrenner more when the Yankees are winning than losing.

''George doesn't want you to get complacent,'' Torre said. ''Comfortable? I'm not sure that's a word you would ever use.''



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