Derek Jeter released a statement through the New York Yankees on Tuesday concerning former manager Joe Torre.
"Out of my great respect for Mr. Torre, I have refrained from comment until he had a chance to address the public.
"In my eyes, Joe Torre is more than a Hall of Fame manager. He is a friend for life, and the relationship we have shared has helped shape me in ways that transcend the game of baseball. His class, dignity, and the way he respected those around him -- from ballplayers to batboys -- are all qualities that are easy to admire, but difficult to duplicate."
"I have known Mr. Torre for a good majority of my adult life, and there has been no bigger influence on my professional development. It was a privilege to play for him on the field, and an honor to learn from him off the field."
On October 18, Torre turned down an offer to return as manager of the Yankees in 2008. He was offered a one-year deal for $5 million with the option of earning an additional $1 million for each playoff series he appeared in. If Torre and the Yankees reached the World Series in 2008, the veteran mentor would have earned $8 million next season.
Torre's Yankees were eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs the last three seasons.
A day after turning down the offer, Torre met with the media to discuss his decision to not return as manager of the Yankees, going so far at one point as to call the incentive-laden package "an insult."