Torre to announce plans in September
Skipper won't let intentions be known until LA's fate determined
ATLANTA -- Joe Torre said Saturday he'll announce his plans for next season when this year's Dodgers clinch a postseason berth or are eliminated from one.
The 70-year-old Torre is in the final year of a three-year, $13 million contract as manager. He broke off negotiations for an extension during Spring Training, saying he wasn't sure how much he wanted to work after this year.
Those talks also involved a front-office role after he stepped down as manager, presumably to be replaced in the dugout by hitting coach and Torre protégé, Don Mattingly.
Torre previously said he would make his announcement in September. Saturday he said it would be after Labor Day, and when pressed on the timetable, he said the team's fate needs to be determined first so there would be no distraction.
"When I stopped doing [negotiations] this spring, I didn't want to be a distraction, and if we're in a pennant race, this is not taking precedence over that," he said. "I'm not letting that get in the way. As long as we have air to breathe."
But he also said he doesn't want to delay a decision longer than necessary in fairness to the club and its ability to plan for the future. He previously said it's unlikely he would manage anywhere else, although he hasn't completely ruled it out. He also repeated earlier comments, "I'm very comfortable here," meaning with the Dodgers.
"I have to let them know, that's only fair," Torre said. "If they have to search for another manager, I know the assumption is it's Donnie, but I don't think it's cut and dried at this time. It's not fair to him really. They're the ones that have to make that decision -- ownership, Ned [Colletti, general manager] and all that stuff."
With speculation increasing that Torre will not return, he reiterated that his decision will be influenced by time management.
"I'm certainly not losing sleep over it," he said. "I have to make a decision and that will be it. I still have no idea what I would do if I don't manage. Do I enjoy this? Sure, I hate losing like anybody. I enjoy the process, but it's a long time from mid-February until, I'd like to think, the end of October. Not a lot of time for yourself. That weighs heavily."
He said a front-office role would probably be a limited one.
"I don't know how much, but I still want to be involved in baseball," he said. "The only security I have is that I know what I'm doing. If the decision is that I'm not coming back, I have to find out the options and what they are."
Torre said he talks about the decision with his wife, but apparently it's been a subject for discussion between them for nearly two decades.
"She doesn't believe me that I'm thinking about not doing this," he said. "I've threatened a few times. She did believe initially. After the first year with the Yankees, we won the World Series and she was like, 'Well? Let's go open a flower shop in Hawaii,' which she knows won't happen."
Jansen a childhood friend of Jurrjens
ATLANTA -- Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles has produced only three Major League pitchers, and two of them are involved in the Dodgers-Braves series.
Dodgers rookie reliever Kenley Jansen and Braves starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens grew up neighbors, were teammates in youth ball and could face each other Sunday, when Jurrjens starts for the Braves against the Dodgers.
"Curacao is such a small place, it's amazing we're both together here," Jansen said. "We played on the same team and now we might play in the same Major League game against each other. It's amazing."
Jansen was Jurrjens' catcher back home and remained a catcher until last year, when he began a meteoric transition to hard-throwing reliever.
"When I was 7 and he was 8, we played on a few teams together, then Little League started and he went up to Little League and I was still in junior league," Jansen said. "But we would practice together all the time back home. Now it's me and him up here together."
Jansen said the two had sushi lunch Saturday and Jurrjens invited him over for dinner after Sunday's game.
"It's like a piece of home," Jansen said.
Furcal's strained lower back improving
ATLANTA -- Disabled Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal reported improvement in his strained lower back Saturday, but he still isn't able to take ground balls or run.
Furcal said he's able to throw without restriction and has resumed batting practice in the cage. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday, but he won't be activated until he has complete mobility, manager Joe Torre said.
Torre said disabled outfielder Manny Ramirez had another good day working out in Arizona and now is running at 60 to 70 percent on his healing strained right calf muscle. Ramirez is expected to travel to Los Angeles on Monday and be re-evaluated Tuesday, with a rehab assignment likely to follow.
Disabled reliever Jeff Weaver continues to recover from a sore left knee. Torre said he has made a mechanical adjustment designed to take some strain off his landing leg.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.