Dodgers' family greets Torre

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LOS ANGELES --- Standing on a center-field stage at Dodger Stadium, Joe Torre pulled on his new cap and jersey for the first time Monday as the sun peeked through an overcast sky.

Torre  Associated Press
Associated Press
Torre

"I hope it stays out," Torre said with a smile, presumably speaking figuratively as well as literally.

Only minutes earlier, the ballpark was shrouded in fog, similar to the past 19 seasons for one of baseball's most storied franchises. Los Angeles has one playoff victory since winning the 1988 World Series, but its new manager will try to change that.

"The expectations are high here," said Torre, who rejected a one-year offer to stay with the New York Yankees last month. "I think we're going to make everybody proud of the product we put on the field."

Flanked by Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda and broadcasting great Vin Scully, Torre received a lavish welcome to the Dodgers' family and immediately paid tribute to their winning tradition.

"I didn't sleep all night," he said. "It's just a great feeling to be here. This is one of a handful of organizations you automatically say yes to."

The 67-year-old won big in New York, guiding the Yankees to four World Series championships, six AL pennants and playoff appearances in all 12 years as their manager. He becomes the second person to manage the Yankees and Dodgers, joining Casey Stengel.

Torre grew up in Brooklyn when it was home to the Dodgers. But he rooted for the rival New York Giants, a fact he apologized for right away Monday.

"You look at this uniform, I remember when it was Brooklyn," Torre said while looking down at his No. 6, the same number he wore in New York. "These things are very vivid to me. Carl Furillo wore No. 6. There was a certain pride factor that I associated with this organization."

Torre said Don Mattingly and Larry Bowa will accompany him from New York as two members of his coaching staff in Los Angeles. Mattingly lost out to Joe Girardi for the Yankees' managerial job.

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