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Torre Denies Steinbrenner Comment

July 15, 2001

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ New York manager Joe Torre denied that owner George Steinbrenner told him not to take too many Yankees to the All-Star game.

Torre, speaking to reporters before the Yankees played the Phillies at Veterans Stadium on Sunday, said Steinbrenner in the past has expressed concern over how many Yankees went to the All-Star game.

``He didn’t tell me that this year,″ Torre said. ``He likes to see a lot of guys make it because it’s a credit to the team, but he also wants them to rest.″

Steinbrenner, in Florida on Saturday to watch two of his horses race at Calder racetrack, questioned whether Torre made the right decision by selecting seven Yankees because the team lost its first two games after the break to the Marlins by a combined score of 20-4.

``The All-Star Game has turned into too much of a festival,″ Steinbrenner said in Sunday’s Newsday. ``I told Torre he shouldn’t have taken so many people for the team. They looked like they needed sleep. ... Winning the World Series is what’s important, not the All-Star game.″

Torre was criticized by some for picking so many Yankees to play in last week’s All-Star game in Seattle.

Closer Mariano Rivera pulled out because of an ankle injury and the three-time defending champions had six representatives: pitchers Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Mike Stanton; catcher Jorge Posada; shortstop Derek Jeter; and center fielder Bernie Williams.

The Yankees beat Florida 5-4 in 10 innings Saturday to snap the skid.

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