This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," June 7, 2004, that was edited for clarity.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Whether he’s wearing Yankee pinstripes or a pinstripe suit, my next guest may have one of the best and probably the toughest jobs in the world. As Yankee skipper, he’s led some of the best combinations of baseball players the world has ever known, but off the field, he’s overcome incredible odds in fighting cancer, among other things. Today Joe Torre is fighting for another cause. As part of the Four Seasons of Hope, Joe lends his considerable name and reputation as well as his time to helping to combat domestic violence and to help kids. Joe’s one of the people I profile in my new book "More Than Money," as people who overcame a lot and give a lot back.
Joe Torre, welcome, good have you.
Joe, can you hear me?
JOE TORRE, MANAGER, NEW YORK YANKEES: Nice being with you again, Neil.
CAVUTO: Oh, good.
TORRE: I was going to say, nice seeing you, but I’m not seeing you, so...
CAVUTO: You know, Joe, on a day we’re talking about Ronald Reagan, we have been calling him the great communicator, I think you have the same kind of a role in your field, you are the great communicator, you have communicated through quiet dignity, a lot of strength, certainly your players are very loyal to you. Is that Reagan’s style in you, too?
TORRE: Well, I didn’t know the president. I was probably about two feet away from him one day, at a hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, he was walking through and the security kept everybody back. But he certainly was a communicator and I know in my job it is more important than anything else, more important than putting on a hit-and-run, putting on — changing a picture, because you need the players to understand, you know, what the process is, how we do things here and you have to have them buy into it. So I think it is important that you are there for their questions and you certainly have to give them common sense as an answer.
CAVUTO: You know, the president was very loyal to his people. You have a reputation for being fiercely loyal to your people, particularly your players, even when you have got a boss who argues otherwise. Is that just who you are?
TORRE: It is who I am, and I know baseball is 162 games, and to all of a sudden go off, you know, because we are bad for four or five or even 10 or 12 games, you know, it really wouldn’t be right. I have played the game, I understand that when you pick up a press guide and you see someone’s statistics, you don’t do those — you don’t get those statistics in one month, you get them over 162 games. So you have to be patient, you have to be supportive, because especially in New York, there is so much pressure involved with what we do.
CAVUTO: See, Joe, I secretly don’t know if you are really Italian because I never see you have a temper.
TORRE: Well, you — hang around, you’ll see. You’ll see.
TORRE: I have got a sharp edge, I have got a sharp edge, if things don’t go right, Neil, and we’re not prepared to play, you know, if we do stupid things and aren’t prepared and make mental mistakes, then I have no patience for that. You know, the physical mistakes are all part of the game, you know, the dumb moves of the manager, you know. If you know the results, it is easy not to make those moves but when you make the moves, you know, you are prepared to do them. So you know, you do the best you can.
CAVUTO: Let me ask you about what you have done for prostate cancer, you’ve urged, after your own battle, men to get tested early, because this is a very beatable, treatable disease if you get tested earlier. Now you are trying to deal with abusive homes because you used to suffer that yourself. Do you ever think that this opens you up to attack, that, look, Joe Torre, he has got a lot of problems, the prostate cancer, he was brought up in an abusive household, I mean this guy ain’t wrapped too tight?
TORRE: Well, I think it is important that people see that you can talk about these things. I know prostate cancer, when I went public with it, and it was something I felt I had to do, I was in the public eye and for certain, if you try to hide something then the media is going to make more of it than there really is out there. But it enabled people to talk about it. I have had so many people come to me, telling me they are suffering from the same thing, they whisper in my years. Friends I have known for years who never volunteered it started talking about it. And I think that was a positive. And the same.
CAVUTO: Well, I’ll tell you what, Joe, I think it is conservative to say you’ve saved thousands of lives as a result of reminding men, look, get tested, get tested.
TORRE: Well, I get very choked up, because around Father’s Day, this — we always have a campaign, and finding out that young children say, hey, Joe Torre tells you to go get a blood test, dad, go do it. And then that is very sensitive for me, for young children to listen to what I say, I think is very important.
CAVUTO: Yes, you and the boss, getting along?
TORRE: Yes, we are getting along, we are fine. You know, I — as long as you win you’re going to get along. There is no question. And right now, we are enjoying the best record in baseball. We are playing very, very well. And, we are not doing it with mirrors, we’re doing it with a lot of offense and hopefully, down the road, I think our pitching will probably come together and get a little bit better. And if that this is case we can win games like we won yesterday, 2-1.
CAVUTO: Indeed. Now you have been piling up some very good wins in the last few weeks, so he’s obviously off your back, but when you started out slow and losing to the Red Sox like you did right away, I mean, was he like all over you or what?
TORRE: Well, you know, Neil, it is interesting, because when you really get hammered like that, he’ll call you and wish you the best of luck, because he’s very supportive. I think he is probably tougher when you are winning and he stays on you, because he doesn’t want you to take it for granted that you will win. He wants you to continue to work. So when you do get beat up a little bit he’s in your corner.
CAVUTO: All right. Joe Torre, thanks for all you do, we appreciate it. Best of luck to you. Joe Torre.
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