The highlight of Joe Torre's 30-minute session with his old buddies in the New York media came when someone mentioned to Torre that Derek Jeter had said it would be nice if someday, the Yankees would hold special day "in honor of Mr. Torre.,'' Jeter's term of respect for the only manager he had ever played for in the first 12 years of his major-league career.
Upon hearing that, Torre practically burst out laughing. "Listen to this ------,'' he said, totally in jest. "It's not Mr. Torre anymore. He's starting to call me 'Buddy' now. ''
Upon hearing that, it was the New York contingent's turn to laugh. For years now, Jeter has addressed just about every media member he has ever met, no matter how long he has known them or how well they get along, as "Buddy.''
"I'm along with everybody else now,'' Torre said. "Maybe I'm in capital letters.''