With their managing situation straightened out for the next several seasons, the New York Yankees will concentrate on playing with more consistency on the field as they resume a four-game series with the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees, who have split their first six games, ended speculation about the future of manager Joe Torre on Friday, extending his contract through the 2007 season. Torre, who has a 789-509 record since taking over the Yankees before the start of the 1996 season, will get at least $19.2 million over the three years of the deal.
“As far as we were concerned, there was no other choice,” New York pitcher Mike Mussina said. “All the things he has to deal with—the media, the front office, the players—he’s the right person.”
Torre’s news did not help the Yankees against the White Sox on Friday as they failed to take advantage of eight walks in a 9-3 loss.
“Over the long haul, we should be able to take advantage of that due to the quality of our offense,” Torre said. “We certainly let an opportunity get away.”
For the White Sox, Friday’s win featured the major league debut of reliever Shingo Takatsu, who is the all-time saves leader in Japan. Takatsu’s first game was forgettable, as he gave up a double and a home run leading off the ninth inning before nailing down the victory.
“I wasn’t too excited or too nervous,” he said through an interpreter. “I hadn’t pitched for a long time and maybe that affected my work.”
Takatsu had a 6.75 ERA in spring training after 13 seasons in Japan.