Like many of the players he will manage against tonight, Joe Torre is an Italian-American.
Asked about the matchup between Team Italy and Team USA this week - long before it assumed such importance following the Americans' loss to Mexico on Friday night - Torre said, "I kiddingly say my emotions are torn there."
Torre said he is looking forward to the hat exchange with the Italian team, whereby managers, coaches and players bring one additional hat to trade with their counterparts following the national anthems at World Baseball Classic games.
Asked if he has space in his trophy room for a Team Italy cap, Torre said, "I'm going to make one."
"That's my heritage," Torre said. "My mom was born in Italy. My dad wasn't born in Italy, but his parents were. For certain, there's always a closeness you feel. Then you hang around (Tommy) Lasorda long enough and realize you're supposed to feel that way."
Torre's mother, Margaret, was born in Petina, near Naples in the southern part of Italy. "She never would talk about it," Torre said. "Unfortunately, my dad made her feel inferior because she wasn't born in the United States. It was a sad thing."
Torre has spoken publicly in recent years about the way his father, a New York City police officer, physically abused his mother. Torre heads the Safe at Home Foundation, with a mission of preventing and spreading awareness about domestic violence.