LOS ANGELES -- For those who can't get enough of the Joe Torre-Alex Rodriguez Cold War, we have news of a thaw.
As the Yankees were preparing to take the field here before Sunday night's game, Rodriguez approached Torre by the batting cage and the two of them chatted for about 45 seconds. As they did, Torre held onto the handshake until the end, looked him in the eye and appeared to deliver a message that Rodriguez seemed eager to digest.
"It was just a convenience thing before that," Torre said a few minutes later as to why he and Rodriguez hadn't spoken this weekend when several other Yankees -- Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and others -- had made it a point to come over and visit during batting practice on Friday.
"He came over and he was who he always is," Torre continued. "I was never uncomfortable with Alex. I just told him again, I said, 'I hope you got my message about sort of getting that monkey off of your back.'
"He's a good kid. He's a good kid and, to me, I think too much is always made of this stuff. I think we know in our hearts what goes on."
Torre said nothing came up about the book he co-authored with Tom Verducci in 2009, The Yankee Years, that portrayed Rodriguez in an unflattering light.
"First of all, anything that was concerning him and me in the book had already been in the public," Torre said. "There was never anything Alex could have read in that book that he hadn't talked to me about. And even the stuff that Tom Verducci found out about the A-Fraud thing, players were doing that in front of him. They were kidding with him. That was just a jab. They always jab in the clubhouse all the time.
"So it was never anything that was a behind-anybody's-back thing. We never did anything behind anybody's backs in that clubhouse. That's why I never really had any concern that he wasn't talking to me because I knew that wasn't the case."
No word yet from A-Rod, by the way -- he went onto the field for batting practice right after meeting with Torre.