NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — All-time Yankees manager Joe Torre made his switch from pinstripes to Dodger blue years ago.
After a brief stint as Major League Baseball’s executive vice president for baseball operations, Torre is looking to return to Los Angeles — in the owners box.
Torre resigned his post at MLB Wednesday to join a group trying to buy the Dodgers.
“Joe has been an invaluable resource for me and all of us at Major League Baseball this year and has splendidly communicated with our on-field personnel, general managers and the umpires,” MLB commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. “I understand his desire to pursue an opportunity in Los Angeles. Joe has been a life-long friend and I know that will continue in the future.”
Torre, the 1971 National League MVP, was a nine-time All-Star during a playing career from 1960-77, then managed the Mets, Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals. After working as a broadcaster for the Angels, he managed the Yankees from 1996-07 and led them to four World Series titles.
He moved on to manage the Dodgers from 2008-10, then retired and joined MLB last February as a top aide to Selig.
The Dodgers have been put up for sale by owner Frank McCourt, who put the team into bankruptcy last year as he battled former team executive Jamie McCourt in divorce court.
“I am so appreciative of the chance the Commissioner gave me to see the game from a different perspective,” Torre said in a statement. “I have made this decision because of a unique chance to join a group that plans to bid for the Dodgers. After leaving the field, this job was an incredible experience, one that I enjoyed very much.”
Torre is joining a group headed by real estate developer Rick Caruso.
Initial bids for the team are due by Jan. 23 with the Blackstone Group, McCourt’s investment banker. The price likely will break the record for a baseball franchise, topping the $845 million paid by the Ricketts family for the Chicago Cubs in 2009.
“Joe has a proven track record of fielding winning teams and I am looking forward to our group benefiting from his unique experience,” Caruso said in a statement. “I am a lifelong Angeleno; I love this city and have dedicated my career to creating world-class destinations that support this community and foster great customer experiences. Joe and I believe in the Dodgers and Dodger fans and know that together we will foster a winning culture.”
Other potential bidders for the team include:
—a group that includes former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson, former Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals president Stan Kasten and Guggenheim Partners chief executive officer Mark Walter.
—a group that includes former agent and current Chicago White Sox special assistant Dennis Gilbert, talk show host Larry King and Jason Reese of Imperial Capital.
—a group that includes former Dodgers general manager Fred Claire, former Oakland Athletics president Andy Dolich and former Dodgers batboy Ben Hwang, who brought in the financial backers.
—former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley.
—a group that includes former Dodgers stars Orel Hershiser and Steve Garvey, and Joey Herrick of Natural Balance Pet Foods.
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