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LOS ANGELES – Joe Torre, who led the Los Angeles Dodgers to consecutive appearances in the National League Championship Series before the team regressed this season, will not return as the club's manager next season, Yahoo! Sports has learned.
Dismissed by the New York Yankees after 12 seasons, half of which ended with American League pennants and four with World Series championships, Torre won two NL West titles in three seasons with the Dodgers. With his contract expiring and club ownership being contested in divorce court, Torre, 70, chose not to negotiate an extension.
Don Mattingly, Torre's hitting coach in Los Angeles and a member of his staff in latter seasons in New York, will become Dodgers manager.
Torre has said he would remain involved in baseball in some capacity, perhaps as an advisor to Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. He has not dismissed the idea of managing another club, and several jobs are expected to come open after the season. Positions with the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves, where Torre managed in the late 1970s and '80s, could be attractive to him. The Chicago Cubs also will hire a new manager.
If the Dodgers are the last of Torre's managerial stops, he will retire with 2,318 wins plus whatever the Dodgers do over their next 15 games. Only Connie Mack, John McGraw, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox have won more. Torre also managed the Mets, Braves and St. Louis Cardinals during a 29-year career that followed an 18-year playing career.
[Photos: Joe Torre's intense and happy times]
His greatest success, of course, was in New York, where – along with iconic players such as Derek Jeter(notes), Mariano Rivera(notes), Andy Pettitte(notes) and Bernie Williams – he helped lead a Yankees revival, which became a near decade-long dynasty. He managed his players, owner George Steinbrenner and the New York press with equal aplomb, and won 10 American League East titles.
When the Yankees lost in the division series to the Cleveland Indians in 2007, by which time Steinbrenner had passed control of the club to his two sons, Torre refused what he viewed as a low-ball contract offer by the Yankees. Weeks later, the Dodgers hired him to replace Grady Little.
When Torre arrived, the Dodgers had not won a postseason series in two decades. He led them to first-place division finishes in 2008 and 2009, twice advanced through the division series and twice were beaten by the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS. As Torre pondered his future through the summer, the Dodgers – stymied by falling payroll, an ugly battle between owner Frank McCourt and his estranged wife, Jamie, and subpar or injury-plagued seasons from Manny Ramirez(notes), Matt Kemp(notes), Andre Ethier(notes), Russell Martin(notes) and Jonathan Broxton(notes) – fell to fourth place.
Torre spoke frequently of spending more time with his family, specifically wife Ali and their high school-aged daughter, Andrea.
Mattingly has not managed at any level. He will manage in the Arizona Fall League this offseason.