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10/10/08 10:55 PM ET

Torre can relate to Manuel's emotions

Personal tragedy took toll on Dodgers manager in 1996

PHILADELPHIA -- Charlie Manuel's mother passed away Friday morning and the Phillies manager wrestled with the decision to be with his family or be with his team for its playoff game with the Dodgers.

Opposing manager Joe Torre understands the dilemma. Torre's brother Frank, a former Major Leaguer, is able to attend this series thanks to a heart transplant he underwent between Games 5 and 6 of the 1996 World Series, which his brother's Yankees won over the Braves.

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"You could tell he's a baseball man," Joe Torre said at the time. "He did it on an off-day."

Torre managed those games and Manuel decided to manage the Phillies in Friday's Game 2 against the Dodgers. He has not decided whether he'll manage Game 3 in Los Angeles on Sunday.

In 1996, Torre's brother Rocco, died of a heart attack in July and brother Frank was hospitalized for 11 weeks waiting for a donor heart. He remembers what it was like balancing his personal and professional lives.

"It's a heavy heart," said Torre, who spoke with Manuel at the batting cage during batting practice. "The fact that knowing that my -- I lost my one brother but my other brother was in the hospital. Part of the therapy for him was listening to us. And I know Charlie was telling me how he talked to his mom and has been talking to her obviously on a regular basis. And her concern for him was only to go out there and win ballgames.

"[Baseball], again, sometimes gives you a place to hide where you're so busy that it's going to be a lot easier, it was a lot easier probably during the game than it is now when he goes home."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.