SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, PA. (AP) - Joe Torre believes Major League Baseball is working on winning back fans’ trust when it comes to cleaning up its reputation regarding performance-enhancing drugs.
“Baseball needs to get the fans’ trust back again, and we’re doing everything we can to make that happen,” the MLB executive vice president told The Associated Press while attending the Little League World Series on Sunday. “It doesn’t say it’s going to be a smoothly paved road. It’s going to be bumpy. We just feel we’re making headway.”
Torre said there was not much more he could say regarding the 14 players recently suspended in the Biogenesis scandal. It’s a group that includes New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who is appealing his 211-game penalty.
The former Yankees manager also touched on the topic of baseball’s plan to expand instant replay next season, a process he has played a role in.
Torre said officials are still “fine-tuning” replay implementations and plan to have the system completed by the winter meetings.
“When we institute it next year, if something needs to be fiddled with, we will,” he said. “But we didn’t kneejerk it because of all the demands. I understand with technology, with the other sports doing it, that we needed to do something. We needed to do something that we didn’t want to take back.”
Torre traveled to South Williamsport, where he was given the William A. Shea Distinguished Little League graduate award. He was presented with the award on the field at Lamade Stadium before a game between Sammamish, Wash., and Westport, Conn.
The award is special to Torre because it’s named after Shea, who was instrumental in founding the New York Mets.
Torre played for the Mets and also managed them from 1977-81. He grew up in Brooklyn, and was in his late teens when both the Dodgers and Giants moved to the West Coast.
“Bill Shea was directly responsible for putting a National League club back in New York, which was significant,” Torre said. “I knew Bill. He was always a real upbeat individual.”