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LEADING OFF

Joe Torre knows what comes with the territory of the managerial office in Yankee Stadium — expectations of games being played in October, late into October.

And Torre knows as the final weeks of the regular season unfold, owner George Steinbrenner is uneasy. Not only do the Yankees enter today in second place in the American League East, but they also are second in the wild-card race, behind Cleveland.

Sure, the Yankees have advanced to the postseason in each of Torre's first nine years on the job, but in Steinbrenner's world, success is judged on a higher level, and what's rubbing the owner wrong is, not only have the Yankees not won a championship since 2000, but they didn't even make it to the World Series two of the past three years.

If they don't even make it to the playoffs this season, changes will be in store. And, even with his multimillion-dollar guarantee, Torre has been around long enough that he could be among them.

But he's not alone. Questions surround a dozen managerial jobs:

MANAGER WANTED

Cincinnati gave Jerry Narron the managerial job on an interim basis when Dave Miley was fired after a 27-43 start. The Reds have gone 41-34 under Narron, and he would seem a lock to get the job on a full-time basis. But this is Cincinnati, where decisions can be complicated. Like when club president John Allen wanted to hire Wayne Krivsky from Minnesota to be general manager but was overruled by owner Carl Linder, who instead hired Dan O'Brien Jr.. Then, O'Brien offered the managerial job to Brian Graham, Pittsburgh's minor-league director, only to be told at the time he had to keep Miley.

Pittsburgh made it clear when Lloyd McClendon was fired it would look for a replacement with major-league experience. Immediately, former Pirates manager Jim Leyland, who still lives in western Pennsylvania and has made it known he wants to manage again, emerged as a favorite. Leyland, however, is a strong personality, which doesn't fit with general manager Dave Littlefield, who more likely prefers Art Howe or Oakland manager Ken Macha, natives of the area.

Baltimore got rid of manager Lee Mazzilli, and interim manager Sam Perlozzo could be a candidate, but owner Peter Angelos must first decide what to do about his dual general managers, Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan. Boston assistant general manager Josh Byrnes has had his name floated to owner Peter Angelos.

DODGERS' DEFENSE

All three Dodgers outfielders Tuesday committed an error in the Rockies' six-run second inning.

It's the only time that has happened in a regular-season game since at least 1960, according to Dave Smith of Retrosheet, who checked records back to then.

What Smith did find is that six times in a regular-season game a team has made three outfield errors in an inning but one outfielder had at least two errors in each instance.

ENDURANCE: Barry Bonds was able to avoid missing the entire season by returning to the Giants' active roster Monday. At 41, odds were not in Bonds' favor to play in 2006 if he had missed the entire season. Only 19 major-leaguers who have missed an entire major-league season after age 40 have come back to play in the majors. Most of those were stunts, such as Satchel Paige and Minnie Minoso being used in promotions.

AROUND THE AL

Boston designated hitter David Ortiz is pushing his own campaign for the Most Valuable Player award, even proclaiming he hasn't seen a "Gold Glove candidate hit .230" and win the MVP — this from a DH. Terry Francona could be a candidate for Manager of the Year for the job he has done keeping the Red Sox together despite injuries to closer Keith Foulke and ace Curt Schilling.

Chicago left-hander Mark Buehrle and right-hander Jon Garland have pitched themselves into consideration for the Cy Young Award. But the White Sox's strongest award candidate should be general manager Kenny Williams, who remade the team's offense in the off-season, for top executive. Ozzie Guillen has earned consideration for Manager of the Year for the way he handled a team that has led the American League Central since the start of the season.

Cleveland's Eric Wedge has made a case for the manager award by taking a team that ranks in the bottom five in payroll and struggled in the first half and guiding it into a battle down the stretch for a postseason berth. Travis Hafner emerged as an offensive force and MVP candidate by putting himself among the AL's top 10 in doubles, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. Left-hander Cliff Lee is among the leaders in wins and, thus, could get some Cy Young Award support.

AROUND THE NL

Atlanta long has been known for pitching, but the Braves have no Cy Young Award candidates. They do have, however, candidates for Most Valuable Player (Andruw Jones), Rookie of the Year (Jeff Francoeur), Manager of the Year (Bobby Cox) and Executive of the Year (John Schuerholz).

Chicago first baseman Derrek Lee will stir up the debate over how much valuable should be considered in voting for the MVP. He ranks first in the National League with a .340 average, second with 43 home runs and seventh with 101 RBI.

Cincinnati center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. has three screws holding his right hamstring to the bone, but he put up the big statistical season the Reds had been awaiting since his arrival. He didn't miss a game because of an injury until he hurt his right foot two weeks ago.