Jeter aims to take down Torre, respectfully

Jeter aims to take down Torre, respectfully

LOS ANGELES -- Derek Jeter wore a sly grin across his face as Joe Torre shuffled to his side of the batting cage on Friday at Dodger Stadium.

Jeter may be turning 36 on Saturday, but for a moment, it could have been the 1990s all over again. With a crush of cameramen and photographers documenting their embrace, Jeter and Torre seemed to have no problem picking up where they left off.

"We'll always be friends," Jeter said. "He's been a big part of my career. I spent a large portion of my career playing for him. We'll be friends outside of baseball when it's over for both of us."

Jeter spoke this week about how he did not believe it would be very awkward to see Torre, whom he also saw wearing Dodgers colors at last year's All-Star Game in St. Louis. The strangest sight, Jeter said, would be seeing Don Mattingly wearing his blue jersey with No. 8 on the back.

Jeter and Torre caught up with a phone call on Wednesday while the Yankees were in Arizona, and while Jeter didn't want to divulge details of that chat, he did allow, "It had nothing to do with baseball."

The mutual respect between Jeter and Torre -- and the rest of the Bombers' "Core Four" -- may be tangible, but Jeter said that it would not mean anything once the games begin between the white lines.

"I don't care if you put my parents in the other dugout, I'm going to try to beat them -- that's the bottom line," Jeter said. "I'll always have the utmost respect for him and that will continue, but when we're playing against him, I'm trying to win."