On Friday Yankees fans will be confronted with the strange sight of Joe Torre sitting in the opposite dugout wearing his familiar #6, but trying to bring a victory to the Los Angeles Dodgers. It will be the first time the Yankees play their former manager and the first time they face a manager who won a World Series for them since Billy Martin was managing the A’s in the early 80’s

Torre seems to be a figure the Yankees are trying to scrub out of their history. He was not included in the montage the Yankees showed at the final home game in 2008 (Chuck Knoblauch was) and he wasn’t invited to be part of any of the ceremonies involving the countdown to the closing of Yankee Stadium.

Yet, Torre managed the Yankees to four World Championships, six Pennants, ten Divisional titles and 1,173 wins in his 12 years with the team. He managed to do what no other manager in the Steinbrenner era accomplished; he isolated the players from the bluster and bombast of their owner. When Torre took over in 1996, Steinbrenner was still a force to be reckoned with, terrorizing and torturing employees and players in the pursuit of a title. Torre brought a calming influence to the clubhouse and allowed the guys who make up the “Core Four” to develop without the fear of being sent to Columbus.

Yes, his breakup with the team was ugly, but when are breakups pleasant? Both sides had grown tired of the other and emotions ruled the day. But, they have moved on professionally. The Yankees won their 27th championship and Torre has gone to the NLCS in both seasons he has managed the Dodgers.

It’s time to put an end to the bad blood and allow Joe to assume his rightful place in Yankees’ history. Hal Steinbrenner should announce before the first game on Friday that no other person will ever wear #6 for the Yankees again and when Joe Torre retires from the Dodgers, he will be honored on the field and welcomed back to the Yankee family.