Dodgers bid farewell to Joe Torre

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Manager Joe Torre of the Los Angeles Dodgers watches from the dugout during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 24, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.

On his final day managing the Los Angeles Dodgers, Joe Torre went old school.

He wrote out the lineup card Sunday, just as he did 29 years earlier on his first day managing the New York Mets, instead of typing it on the computer.

Torre expected his final game against the Arizona Diamondbacks to be nostalgic rather than sad since he's the one who decided to call it a career on the bench.

Torre wasn't the only manager retiring. Toronto's Cito Gaston oversaw his final game at Minnesota, while the immediate future of Atlanta's Bobby Cox was in doubt. If the Braves made the playoffs or wound up in a wild-card tiebreaker game, they would have prolonged the career of their 69-year-old skipper, who plans to quit for good this year.

Gaston won two World Series titles, in 1992 and 1993, during a managerial run that ended in 1997. He returned to Toronto as a hitting coach from 2000-01 and took over as manager again in June 2008.

The Blue Jays honored Gaston with an emotional pregame ceremony on Wednesday night in their home finale. After the Jays beat the Yankees, they showered Gaston with beer and water to celebrate a career in which he was the first black manager to win a World Series.

Torre's career includes managing the Mets, Atlanta, St. Louis, and most memorably, the New York Yankees, whom he guided to four World Series championships before leaving in 2007.

Torre's players trickled into his office in recent days to bid personal farewells to the 70-year-old, who guided them the last three years.

He led the Dodgers into the playoffs his first two seasons in Los Angeles, but no matter the outcome Sunday, they were going to send him off with his first 162-game losing season since 1984, when he managed the Braves.

Torre's future includes a brief Hawaiian vacation and then getting busy selling tables for his foundation's dinner honoring Derek Jeter in New York on Nov. 11.

He says it's safe to say he's definitely retiring from managing, although he couldn't resist joking that all the farewell fuss "is really going to go right out the tubes when I manage again next year."

Hitting coach Don Mattingly already has been hired to succeed Torre on the bench.

Torre shared his farewell with 40-year-old backup catcher Brad Ausmus, who retired Sunday after 18 years in the big leagues.

The three-time Gold Glove winner, who played two seasons with the Dodgers, was honored before the game by the team and his alma mater Dartmouth.

© 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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