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BASEBALL ROUNDUP : Torre Becomes Yankee Manager

November 03, 1995|From Associated Press

Insisting he is not worried about interference from owner George Steinbrenner, Joe Torre on Thursday accepted baseball's least secure job--manager of the New York Yankees.

"If I concern myself with what-ifs and how I'm going to handle it, then I shouldn't be here," Torre, 55, said at Yankee Stadium after his two-year $1.05-million deal was announced.

Bob Watson, the team's new general manager, said the deal was agreed to Wednesday night in Tampa, Fla., during a meeting that included himself, Torre, Steinbrenner, former general manager Gene Michael and Brian Cashman, the new assistant general manager.

Torre, resents the 20th change in managers since Steinbrenner took over in 1973, succeeds Buck Showalter.

Torre, fired by St. Louis in June, has a .471 winning percentage in 14 seasons as a major league manager. He has led one team to a first-place finish: the 1982 Atlanta Braves, who won the NL West title but were swept by the Cardinals in the playoffs.

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The Yankees and Darryl Strawberry agreed to a 30-day extension on the club's decision whether to exercise its $1.8-million option. The Yankees could have bought out Strawberry's contract for $175,000 or offered him salary arbitration.

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The Texas Rangers decided against exercising their $2.6-million option on outfielder Otis Nixon, instead giving him a $350,000 buyout and making him eligible for free agency.

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Left-handed reliever Paul Assenmacher and the Cleveland Indians agreed to a two-year contract worth about $1.7 million.

Meanwhile, the Indians declined to exercise 1996 options on first baseman Paul Sorrento and pitcher Mark Clark, making them eligible for salary arbitration.

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Saying it is important for Colorado to keep its core players together, the Rockies agreed to a three-year deal with outfielder Dante Bichette worth about $11 million.

Bichette, who had a $3.1 million salary this year and made $200,000 more in bonuses, can make about $1 million a season in bonuses under the new contract.

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Six members of the Braves could receive more money from the World Series than from their 1995 salaries.

Pitcher Tom Glavine, the Braves' player representative, said shares from the Series may be worth as much as $207,000 per player.

Among those making less than that in salary are reliever Mark Wohlers, who made $200,000 last season; Ryan Klesko, $185,000; Javier Lopez, $150,000; Chipper Jones, $114,000; Brad Clontz, $109,000; and Mike Mordecai, $109,000.

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Baseball's national television deals neared completion, and baseball officials said the contracts will total about $1.5 billion and generate more than $10 million per season for each club.

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The Turnstile

Managers and their tenures for the New York Yankees under the ownership of George Steinbrenner:

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Manager Yrs. Games Ralph Houk 1973 162 Bill Virdon 1974-75 266 Billy Martin 1975-78 471 Bob Lemon 1978-79 133 Billy Martin 1979 95 Dick Howser 1980 162 Gene Michael 1981 82 Bob Lemon 1981-82 39 Gene Michael 1982 86 Clyde King 1982 62 Billy Martin 1983 162 Yogi Berra 1984-85 178 Billy Martin 1985 145 Lou Piniella 1986-87 324 Billy Martin 1988 68 Lou Piniella 1988 93 Dallas Green 1989 121 Bucky Dent 1989-90 89 Stump Merrill 1990-91 275 Buck Showalter 1992-95 599 Joe Torre 1996 ?

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