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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Dodgers Officially Hire Torre: What Now?
2007-11-01 15:10
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The Dodgers officially named Joe Torre their manager today. So when do they fire him?

I don't mean that question as a flippant shot at the Dodger leadership, though certainly, with three general managers and three managers since 2004, it wouldn't be out of place. But lost in the gleeful march to Torreville (as exemplified by this Ted Green article on the new local sports site, SportsHubLA), is any thorough examination of whether Torre will actually be a good manager, or at a minimum one fans will be patient with.

The case for Torre has rested largely on him being a proven champion and grade-A personality who will unite the disintegrating Dodger clubhouse back into a winner. Without dismissing these arguments, I think a little skepticism is in order.

  • I don't want to take away credit from Torre for getting the Yankees into the postseason 12 consecutive times, but it's not as if he didn't have any help. Those were some pretty talented teams.

  • Even as new tales of Dodger disharmony came out of the woodwork this week, there hasn't been any evidence that the conflict caused the team's fall from first to fourth place this season. Rather, all the evidence continues to indicate that as long as the team was winning games, there was a detente both between player and player, player and manager, and manager and general manager. The only qualifier to that would be whether the complaining drove Grady Little into poor managerial choices.

    In any case, Torre may do better than Grady Little at keeping the Dodgers united when things go bad - but will he be better than the average manager at keeping things from going bad?

    Here's what some close Yankee followers have to say about Torre's managerial style:

    The lineup
    "He prefers a set lineup," says Cliff Corcoran of Bronx Banter, before adding that "Torre does like to play platoon matchups on both sides of the ball. As much as he prefers a set lineup, he'll often drop a given lefty down a spot or two in his batting order against a lefty starter.

    "He does appear to be aware of his hitters' performances against opposing pitchers and will often consider those numbers when looking to give a starter a rest or get a reserve a spot start. That sounds good except that he is easily swayed by small samples. Just look at his habit of playing Enrique Wilson against Pedro Martinez in 2003 after Enrique went 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles off Pedro on July 7 of that year.

    Here's what Steven Goldman of Baseball Prospectus had to say in his recent close examination of Torre's career:

    "Torre preferred a set lineup. He would shuffle the lineup to get a player out of a key role if he was slumping, but otherwise he found something that worked for him and stuck with it. This applied not only to individual seasons, but year-to-year.

    "The Yankees often looked for leadoff hitters because Torre had decided that Derek Jeter was a #2 hitter regardless of the team's needs. Torre would sometimes relent, but only after another player had failed or gotten hurt.

    "In the playoffs he was more proactive, benching Tino Martinez, Alfonso Soriano, and Jason Giambi, and famously dropping Alex Rodriguez in the batting order last year."

    Goldman felt that Torre mainly platooned when forced to.

    "When neither Ricky Ledee nor Shane Spencer took control of the Yankees left field job in 1999, he platooned them," Goldman said. "He selectively platooned Bobby Abreu with Shelley Duncan in the second half of 2007, and half-heartedly tried a Mientkiewicz/Josh Phelps platoon in the first half of the season. When Torre lacked a regular at a position he tried to let someone get hot and play themselves into a job rather than try to patch something together."

    Goldman also noted that Torre will sometimes choose a good glove over a good bat.

    "Torre keep Scott Brosius in the lineup in 1999 and 2000 despite batting performances that were enormously hurtful to the Yankees," he wrote. "Similarly, in the early years he deemphasized Wade Boggs for Charlie Hayes. He seemed to agonize over Jason Giambi's defense at first (though any manager might have done so), and gave crazy amounts of playing time to Miguel Cairo, Enrique Wilson, and Doug Mientkiewicz, who sure as heck weren't in the lineup for their bats. Curiously, Torre's concern with defense did not extend to the outfield, where he seemed to be incapable of seeing the defensive problems of an aging Bernie Williams, Hideki Matsui, and others."

    Veterans vs. rookies
    "Looking at the 2008 Dodgers," Corcoran says, "if the team decides to start the season with (Andre) Ethier and (Matt) Kemp in the outfield corners and (James) Loney and (Andy) LaRoche at the infield corners, Torre will give the youngsters a long rope. A player has to be really bad for a really long time to lose a starting job he's been given by Joe Torre. The challenge for young players, however, is getting that starting job in the first place.

    "If Ned Colletti brings in another 'proven veteran' outfielder, or if Nomar (Garciaparra) has a blazing hot spring training and reclaims the third-base job, you're unlikely to see a change in the lineup before June, if at all, no matter how poorly the vets play.

    "The one exception there, particularly regarding Nomar, is injury. Torre is not above allowing a young player to Wally Pipp a vet. If the team and the youngster excel while the vet is on the DL, that vet could come back to a spot on the bench, as (Jason) Giambi and Doug Mientkiewicz did this year. Heck, even Johnny Damon lost his center-field job to injury this year, and he didn't spend a day on the DL. Of course it took until June for that to happen."

    Said Goldman: "Two of Torre's most notable rookies, Derek Jeter and Alfonso Soriano, got their jobs through fluke circumstances where there was no choice other than to play them; in the former case it was a combination of an organizational decision that predated Torre's hiring and Tony Fernandez's spring training injury, while in the latter, throwing problems forced (Chuck) Knoblauch off of second base.

    "It's mostly forgotten now, but in the spring of 1996 it was reported that Torre was a bit uncomfortable with the idea of having a rookie at shortstop. As in the previously cited cases of Knoblauch and Bernie Williams, Torre would give long-term Yankees every chance to keep their jobs. In 2006 he fell in love with Terrence Long for about two minutes, talking up his experience.

    "In part, his preference for old men was able to assert itself so strongly during the later Yankees years because the farm system didn't give him great alternatives. If there was a problem, he was usually in the position of picking between players like Aaron Guiel and Kevin Thompson, not Aaron Guiel and Chris Young."

    Power vs. speed
    Don't expect Juan Pierre to be benched anytime soon.

    "Even though the Yankees often had a power-hitting lineup, Torre liked speed," Goldman said. "His Yankees clubs were more interested in the stolen base than any non-Rickey Henderson Yankees teams of the modern era. This extended to leading off Alfonso Soriano for two years though he was the most impatient hitter on the club, putting (Tony) Womack in the lineup, keeping Johnny Damon in the leadoff spot despite a rough year in 2007, experimenting with Kenny Lofton in 2004, and the continual non-benching of a fading Knoblauch."

    Offensive game strategy
    "Outside of a heavy hand on the hit-and-run and a tendency to pinch-run for lumbering sluggers (most recently Giambi and Posada) an inning or two too early in close games, his managing generally doesn't intrude on the game," Corcoran says. "If he has a player who can steal, he lets him steal, but he doesn't get tricky by double stealing with slower players on the back end. He's judicious with the bunt, which is good, but almost never squeezes, which is bad. As I said, he overuses the hit-and-run in double play situations, often resulting in a K-CS double play, or having the runner doubled-up on a line drive.

    "He also tends to consider handedness over overall ability when choosing pinch-hitters (or mid-inning relievers)."

    I asked Corcoran to elaborate on Torre's bunting habits, because it was hard for me to imagine that squeezing with the Yankee lineup would be an issue.

    "He didn't squeeze enough, because he didn't squeeze at all in recent years. The Yankees didn't have one successful squeeze in the last four seasons, at least, and I only remember one unsuccessful attempt in that span, which came in a blowout in Baltimore in late 2006. Meanwhile the Yankees were in many game situations in which a squeeze would give them a tie or a lead late in a game that they went on to lose.

    "As for the bunt, 34 of those 41 bunts were by Melky Cabrera, Andy Phillips, Doug Mientkieiwcz, Miguel Cairo, Jose Molina, Wil Neives, and Tyler Clippard. Derek Jeter tends to bunt on his own every now and then, which is frustrating, but he only did so three times last year. Torre uses the bunt wisely. He uses it primarily in close, late-inning situations with his weakest hitters bunting to set up men in scoring position for as the lineup rolls over for his big boppers. He'll bunt early if he's facing a shut-down pitcher (such as late-90s Pedro Martinez), but there's logic to that as well. In essence, he treated his nine-spot hitters like the pitcher in the NL, and most of his bunts came from the last couple spots in the order."

    Goldman corroborated much of what Corcoran had to say.

    "In his first season with the Yankees, Torre billed himself as a 'National League manager,'" Goldman wrote. "This mostly displayed itself in the frequent use of the hit-and-run, though that year Torre also called more bunts and squeeze plays than he would in any other season. He rapidly cut back on bunting and squeezing, and with his powerhouse teams of the late 1990s, he mostly stayed out of their way. Post-2001 he was a little more active with the one-run strategies, but was never fanatical about it. This was one of Torre's best qualities as a manager: he recognized the kind of team he had and didn't try to play a style of offense unsuited to the roster."

    Starting pitching
    "He pays careful attention to pitch counts," Corcoran says, "rarely allowing a starter to surpass 120 tosses, and often getting them out soon after they hit triple-digits. He'll bend those rules for veterans who are cruising, but he's not above pulling a pitcher with a 5-0 lead with two outs in the ninth if the guy gives up a pair of hits, and often pulls young starters too early, bailing at the first sign of trouble past 80 pitches."

    Goldman noted that Torre became more careful with starting pitchers after the 2003 season. In the past two years, a Yankee starting pitcher threw more than 120 pitches in a game only once.

    Bullpen usage
    "The problem with his being so careful about overtaxing his starters, of course, is that he winds up burning out his bullpen," Corcoran says, adding that Torre "likes to slot his relievers into designated roles (closer, eighth-inning guy, seventh-inning guy, primary lefty, secondary lefty, long-man).

    "I wrote an article on Banter ("The Lesson of Stevie Hearsay") about Torre's habit of latching on to a particular set-up man and pitching his arm off. Luis Vizcaino was his man in 2007 before Joba Chamberlain (protected by the organization's Joba Rules) rode to Viz's rescue. Everyday Scotty Proctor was Torre's man in 2006. Beware, Jonathan Broxton.

    "Torre's other big bullpen bugaboo is the fact that he's loathe to bring his closer into a tied game on the road, and has lost many such contests by working from the bottom of the pen up, rather than the top down in such situations. I've dubbed this 'Jeff Weaver Syndrome' after his use of Weaver in such a situation in Game 4 of the 2003 World Series (you can find some of my writing on this subject by searching "Jeff Weaver Syndrome" on Banter)."

    And so ...
    Reflecting upon this, I see a great deal of similarity between Torre and Little. Not complete similarity, but I'm not sure there's enough difference to be significant. I don't expect that the lineup Torre puts on the field in April will be much different than what Little would have sent out there. The main difference might be that there will be less shuffling along the lines of Ethier-Kemp-Luis Gonzalez.

    And even though Little had trouble with pitching changes and knowing when to pinch-hit, I'm not assured that Torre has a significantly better grasp. My biggest problem with Little would be when he let a pitcher bat and then let him face only one or two more batters. That might be an area that Torre improves the team, but on the other hand, Torre has his blind spots too.

    I think it's also worth noting that in his two seasons in Los Angeles, Little did not get in hot water with the Dodger front office or the media. In fact, Little was widely considered a hit with the players, at least as far as anyone let on. The only criticism in this area that emerged was that when the clubhouse fell apart, Little couldn't repair it - in fact, Little might have even contributed to it. So perhaps, perhaps, Torre could have kept the team afloat heading into that pivotal series in Colorado that killed the Dodgers and launched the Rockies into the postseason.

    But there's a whole lot of other stuff running a team – stuff that a manager can control and stuff that he can't. It would be imprudent for me to say that Torre is a bad hire, but the notion of him as a panacea strikes me as a reach. The team may still falter with him, or might be great despite him. In the end, the manager is a middleman, and needs support from above and below.

    Update: From Jay Jaffe of Baseball Prospectus, in the comments below:

    Having watched Torre at close range for 12 years from my New York vantage, I have fewer reservations regarding his taking over the Dodgers than I think most of you do here. Yes, he has his foibles, but he's also shown himself to be more adaptable than commonly given credit for. He handled the in-season integration of Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera into the lineups pretty well, and particularly this past year, showed that he wasn't afraid to bench expensive, gimpy and ineffective veterans like Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi. Yet he was also able to quell any major clubhouse dissent over those moves, which is pretty impressive.

    A few other things to add:

  • He's done an outstanding job managing Jorge Posada's heavy workload, keeping him effective all year long - there's virtually no difference between Posada's first- and second-half splits careerwise, and his September numbers have historically been strong. Granted, he won't have the DH to help Russell Martin out in the same way, but Torre was a catcher, and he understood the workload.

  • Right now the Dodgers already have a deeper bullpen than the Yankees have had the last few years. In Broxton, Proctor and (Joe) Beimel, the Dodgers have three capable setup men, and that's not to say they won't be even deeper. Torre hasn't had more than one good righty setup at any one time in awhile, and his recent lefty relievers have primarily been LOOGYs or mop-and-bucket guys. Beimel is more of a Mike Stanton type, capable of pitching full innings without worrying unduly about platoon matchups.

  • Anyone pointing to Torre's lack of success in his pre-NYY days would do well to remind themselves that this Dodger club has far more to work with than some of those teams did, particularly in the rotation.

  • Whatever the expectations are in L.A. with the ink still drying on Torre's contract, they're lower and more reasonable than they were in New York. Torre will do a good job of keeping the pressure off his guys by deflecting it towards himself, and this is a guy who can stand more heat than just about any manager I've ever seen. He'll demand accountability for the kind of (nonsense) that's gone on around problem children like Jeff Kent over the past few years, and I think he'll find his way through this mix of veterans and youngsters better than Little did last year.

  • Comments (290)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2007-11-01 15:18:34
    1.   LAT
    Amazing Jon was able to research and write that up in about 10 mins :-)
    2007-11-01 15:19:22
    2.   LAT
    First instead of last. Its a mad mad mad world I tell ya!
    2007-11-01 15:19:50
    3.   Gen3Blue
    I have a positive knack for getting LATed.
    2007-11-01 15:20:36
    4.   LAT
    Am I posting on some fake mirage that only I can see and everyone else is at the real DT?
    2007-11-01 15:21:07
    5.   Xeifrank
    I believe Howard was closest in the NPUT over/under silly contest. vr, Xei
    2007-11-01 15:21:16
    6.   regfairfield
    4 Some of us actually read the post :)
    2007-11-01 15:21:27
    7.   LogikReader
    I got LAT'd too.

    Not much I can disagree with, far as the post.

    ---

    Going back to the last thread, I was wondering about that A's catcher... and his projections

    .251/.328/.424

    Those numbers don't seem that impressive to me. I'm new to this still... is that

    .251 avg
    .328 obp
    .424 slg?

    I suppose that is pretty good if he is just starting out.

    2007-11-01 15:22:26
    8.   D4P
    Reflecting upon this, I see a great deal of similarity between Torre and Little. Not complete similarity, but I'm not sure there's enough difference to be significant

    And certainly not enough to warrant a salary six times a high.

    2007-11-01 15:25:06
    9.   regfairfield
    7 The average catcher hit .256/.318/.394 last year. You tend to be happy your backup catcher knows what a bat is.
    2007-11-01 15:25:25
    10.   Howard Fox
    5 and for that, I am ecstatic
    2007-11-01 15:27:26
    11.   fanerman
    9 And he'd probably dirt cheap, wouldn't he?
    2007-11-01 15:28:28
    12.   Greg Brock
    If he keeps the pitch counts low, that's great. And we have enough quality relief...I doubt he'll replicate his reliance on one guy.

    But who cares? This smacks of lipstick on a pig. Now fix what's really important, Ned.

    2007-11-01 15:28:49
    13.   bhsportsguy
    9 Why are we talking about a backup catcher? But I will say this, Joe will probably rest Russell more often than Grady.
    2007-11-01 15:29:23
    14.   D4P
    Question: Is there someone else "we" would have preferred as our manager, among available candidates...?
    2007-11-01 15:29:51
    15.   LAT
    6. Read the post? Cheating was the only way I could get the first post. I did go back and read it and it was a really good article. Nice job JW.

    (I think I'll call him JW from now on. It conjurs up a guy with a pipe and a smoking jacket. I bet his buddies called him JW in high school.)

    2007-11-01 15:30:06
    16.   regfairfield
    11 Quite so, he has 10 career at bats.
    2007-11-01 15:30:13
    17.   bhsportsguy
    12 Yeah, but its a pretty big deal for the non-DT world.
    2007-11-01 15:30:52
    18.   LogikReader
    Well, to be honest, there isn't a ton to fix... a lot of the best pieces are in place. The "fix" is to "not fix," know what I mean?

    Keeping Nomar and Pierre's damage to a minimum will help.

    2007-11-01 15:30:55
    19.   LAT
    12. This smacks of lipstick on a pig.

    Ha ha. You kill me.

    2007-11-01 15:31:06
    20.   regfairfield
    14 It doesn't really make a difference to me. I would have stuck with Grady.

    9 It caught my eye.

    2007-11-01 15:31:49
    21.   bhsportsguy
    14 No. I'd say more but I'm busy.
    2007-11-01 15:32:40
    22.   Bluebleeder87
    really nice read & break down on our new skipper.
    2007-11-01 15:33:22
    23.   fanerman
    13 It's Dodger Thoughts. We'd rather talk about backup catchers than work.
    2007-11-01 15:34:34
    24.   Greg Brock
    14 I'd have preferred Girardi.
    2007-11-01 15:35:31
    25.   LogikReader
    Just got the email note about Torre's hire.

    Nothing gets by dodgers.com

    2007-11-01 15:35:53
    26.   Midwest Blue
    Way to throw cold water on our euphoric afternoon, JW. Ba-humbug.
    2007-11-01 15:36:30
    27.   Bleed Dodger Blue
    22 Agreed. Very nice analysis, and stuff I'd like to know heading in.

    How happy do you think Scott Proctor is about this new hire? Happy to see a familiar face, or unhappy that he's in for another 100-inning season?

    Anyway, that always "ground my gears" about Grady, too. Many a time would I sit at home and ask myself why Wolf/Lowe/Penny, etc. was batting when his pitch count had broken three digits.

    Thanks for the article.

    2007-11-01 15:36:58
    28.   Bluebleeder87
    the Veterans vs. rookies piece got me pretty pumped up, I hope it's true.
    2007-11-01 15:37:08
    29.   blue22
    Davey Johnson (ironically enough) has been described as having the qualities "we" look for. He's believed to be good with young pitchers (that Mets team was stacked) and fairly conservative on in-game strategy.
    2007-11-01 15:38:59
    30.   surfing slug
    Any word who will be on the coaching staff?
    2007-11-01 15:39:21
    31.   sam2175
    Good luck, Dodger fans.

    Be prepared for 12 pitchers in the roster. The astonishing thing would be, out of those 12, Torre would only use 4 of them, and two of them would just be benchwarmers. Scott Proctor has probably got up in the bullpen as part of a Pavlovian reflex action.

    And you will find out that if your promising rookie pitcher walks a couple of people in a game, he is forever banished, no matter his minor league records before and after the said debacle.

    Also, if some of your young hitters strike out a ton, then they are in trouble. Within the first five games, it is advisable to keep strikeouts to less than 2 in any given game. The only one that got away with striking out a lot was Alfonso Soriano, because he had a lot of speed.

    2007-11-01 15:41:07
    32.   sam2175
    That should have read "promising rookie relief pitcher"
    2007-11-01 15:43:06
    33.   Retire 55
    McCourt is a fickle, self-aggrandizing jerk. Yes.

    But that shouldn't dampen enthusiasm about this change. Grady was an asbolutely terrible in-game manager. And Torre's input on baseball ops decisions is likely to be a positive development if it means less decisionmaking power for Ned.

    I'm still not convinced that this team will make the playoffs, but Torre sure as heck won't hurt. He's taken the Yanks to the playoffs 12 years in a row - that's impressive no matter how you slice it.

    2007-11-01 15:43:14
    34.   trainwreck
    31
    Little used Proctor even more than Torre did.

    We used Broxton a lot already, so overusing middle relief is something we are used to.

    I am already getting scared for the youth. We basically have to give Torre no alternative.

    2007-11-01 15:44:15
    35.   Greg Brock
    Torre's been the manager for about fifteen minutes, and the Scott Proctor jokes are already hackneyed.

    Note to Yankees fans (again): Your bullpen, pre-Joba, was terrible. Garbage. Hence, the reliance on one pitcher. We do not have this problem like you have on your team. I don't know who told you we have this. We do not.

    2007-11-01 15:45:41
    36.   Ken Arneson
    9 The question isn't whether Jeremy Brown knows what a bat is. He does. It's whether he knows what a glove is. I don't think there's anyone in the A's organization who really trusts him behind the plate for any period of time beyond an emergency.

    The A's seem to have some old-fashioned notions about what makes a good catcher. Judging from their actions since Billy Beane took over, they seem to believe that pitch-calling and pitch-blocking are more important skills than hitting for a catcher, even though there are no published statistical reports that I've ever heard that indicate that either of those skills make much difference.

    2007-11-01 15:45:51
    37.   KG16
    I'm really not sure about this. It was a stretch for me to go along with a former Giant taking over as GM. Now we are getting a manager and coaches from the Yankees. This is some really bad baseball karma for the Bums.

    On a more serious note... it's good to know he'll give the young players a lot of rope, if they can get the jobs (and the prayer to the Baseball Gods in re no more PVL begins). I'm a little concerned about his potential handling of the pitching staff. And as much as I like the speed game, I'm suddenly worried that Pierre is going to be either leading off or batting second all year.

    2007-11-01 15:46:26
    38.   D4P
    He's taken the Yanks to the playoffs 12 years in a row - that's impressive no matter how you slice it

    It might be impressive for a team to make the playoffs 12 years in a row, but I attribute that to the players, not the manager. It's not like he guided a bunch of scrubs to the promised land.

    2007-11-01 15:46:35
    39.   Bluebleeder87
    We used Broxton a lot already, so overusing middle relief is something we are used to.

    & lets not forget Broxton had some ARM ISSUES because of it, that's the only thing I'm worried aboot.

    2007-11-01 15:47:14
    40.   Jon Weisman
    33 - Little apparently had the same input Torre will have.

    I'm not going to try to support or attack Little as an in-game manager, but I'm confident there will be complaints about Torre as well. I'm not saying that to be Scrooge. It just seems like the way of the world.

    2007-11-01 15:48:52
    41.   regfairfield
    36 True, but when the second best catcher in the organization that isn't just a journeyman is in high A, Jeremy Brown would be a huge boon.
    2007-11-01 15:49:20
    42.   trainwreck
    At least we went up on the PIL meter.

    Proven
    Italian
    Leadership

    2007-11-01 15:49:45
    43.   KG16
    36 - pitch-calling by a catcher is very important, if he's the one making the call (as opposed to the manager)... it is a huge factor in his team's defense and the other teams offense. Pitch-blocking is important in that passed balls allow runners to move up (or score if already on third), remember it's always easier to score from third than it is second, and from second than it is first.

    I'll be honest, this is one of those things that I don't think you need "published statistical reports" to understand. But I'm a contrarian like that.

    2007-11-01 15:49:47
    44.   regfairfield
    38 So you're saying Mr. Burns isn't the tactical genius I thought he was.
    2007-11-01 15:49:52
    45.   Xeifrank
    My biggest problem with Little would be when he let a pitcher bat and then let him face only one or two more batters

    In Little's defense I remember a few of those times. I agree it is annoying when that happens, but sometimes a pitcher is pulled because he gave up 2-3 hits/walks in a row and there was no way to know that was going to happen. It's not like he let the pitcher bat, then the pitcher retired the first two batters and he was pulled. Clint Hurdle is the guy who is famous for this. He would let the pitcher hit, then not even let him start the next inning.

    I don't think there is much difference between the average MLB manager minus the likes of Jim Tracy and Dusty Baker. They each have some minor flaws and each have some strengths, evening things out in the long run. Where I see the difference may be in leadership and public relations type skills. It could be true that Torre is a better manager than Little, I really have no way of quantifying it one way or the other. Where I think one can make a difference is in the GM position. That's where the most damage/improvement to a team is usually done at.

    vr, Xei

    2007-11-01 15:50:41
    46.   LogikReader
    40

    It's true. No matter who anybody has as manager, there will always be nitpicking, complaints, etc.

    2007-11-01 15:51:07
    47.   regfairfield
    43 It's just that published statistical reports can't find any value in these skills, and it's not for lack of trying. I'm sure they mean something, but what the pitcher actually does probably far outweighs it to the point where it's no longer noticable.
    2007-11-01 15:51:09
    48.   sporky
    42 My employer is wondering why I'm cackling.
    2007-11-01 15:51:38
    49.   blue22
    38 - That's valid in the last 5 years or so, but what about the late 90's Yankees. Good pitching, great pen, but the everyday lineup doesn't look like terribly intimidating. The Yankees didn't become the "Evil Empire" until the Giambi signing.
    2007-11-01 15:52:53
    50.   Greg Brock
    42 Ratt brought that up yesterday. It's getting awfully Italian up in this piece.
    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2007-11-01 15:52:55
    51.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
    If Girardi was really the first choice, why didn't we offer him 4 million/year? I reckon we would have signed him had we offered that much. It seems silly to lose out on your first choice because another team offered more money, then spend more money than the other team offered on your second choice.
    2007-11-01 15:53:41
    52.   bhsportsguy
    Conference call at 4:00, same available outlets (KSPN 710 online).

    Probably will just have Ned on the line, expect Simers to badger him on when he started talking to Torre and was it before Grady retired?

    2007-11-01 15:55:40
    53.   Matt Conroy
    What an unrelentingly negative bunch. I can understand the cynicism, but jeez....

    Welcome Joe, and good luck!

    2007-11-01 15:55:45
    54.   KG16
    47 - right, I think. My point is only that when a catcher actually gets to call a game (and that's a rare thing these days), he's the one making the decision on fastball/curveball, as well as location. Whether or not the pitcher can execute on that call is obviously incredibly important. As an example: the catcher calls for a fastball out and the pitcher throws a change up (or just a fastball without much on it) in against a pull hitter, you're going to have some major problems.
    2007-11-01 15:55:55
    55.   Bluebleeder87
    I wish Torre would tell Pierre to drop & give him 20 if he rolls an out to 1st or pops up, I really do!!
    2007-11-01 15:56:22
    56.   bhsportsguy
    51 That would have made Girardi the highest paid manager in the game with only one year's experience. Even at $2.5M he would have been among the highest paid managers.
    2007-11-01 15:57:29
    57.   KG16
    55 - I see more a situation like in Major League, where Pierre's going to be doing push ups everytime he hits the ball in the air. I half expect him to drop and do push ups the first time he hits a flyball in spring training.
    2007-11-01 15:57:46
    58.   trainwreck
    Alright, let's see if the Dodgers learned anything from their debacle of a conference call on Tuesday.
    2007-11-01 16:00:55
    59.   sam2175
    35 Agreed on the terrible bullpen of Yankees pre-Joba. That still does not explain the insistence on 12 pitchers, and using only 9-10 of them on a regular basis. Even a 4-5 run lead normally was protected with proven veterans than the rookie call-up.

    I will spare you Scott Proctor jokes. But as a Dodger fan, you are aware of Paul Quantrill, I suppose. He didn't suffer a very good fate in 2005, I must say, and the primary reason was Joe Torre.

    2007-11-01 16:02:08
    60.   Bluebleeder87
    58

    I'm tunned in...

    2007-11-01 16:03:08
    61.   wireroom
    No matter what a manager is going to make bad in game decisions. What you hope for is a guy who minimizes that and can spark the team in whatever way he can. Remember when Phil Garner took over the Astros a few years ago midseason and then got them to the series?
    My hope is that Torre gets some of these kids to really play a more consistent all around game. If that happens, they have a pretty goo team.
    2007-11-01 16:03:56
    62.   wireroom
    61 *good
    2007-11-01 16:08:09
    63.   Bluebleeder87
    59

    we have a couple of good ones (a couple of good rooks too):

    Meloan
    McDonald (out side shot)
    Brazoban
    ________________________

    established relievers:

    Beimel/Proctor
    Broxton
    Saito
    _________________________

    I hope he uses all of them accordingly, some of the Rookies have great track records in the minors.

    2007-11-01 16:09:05
    64.   Jon Weisman
    53 - "What an unrelentingly negative bunch"

    I don't agree with that characterization. Plenty of people here have offered the upside on Torre. If some don't think he's the second coming, I think that's fair considering the overwhelming praise he's getting elsewhere.

    In any case, I wish him good luck too.

    2007-11-01 16:10:15
    65.   LAT
    In honor of our new manager, below is my Steve Lyons like attempt at Italian humor. Jon, if this is not the place for this feel free to delete it.

    An Italian workman wants a job, but the foreman won't hire him until he passes a little math test "Here's your first question," the foreman said.

    "Without using numbers, represent the number 9."

    "Without numbers?" the Italian says, "Datsa easy." and he proceeds to draw three trees.

    "What's this?" the boss asks.

    "Ave you got no brain? Tree and tree and tree make a nine," says the Italian.

    "Fair enough," says the boss. "Here's your second question. Use the same rules, but this time the number is 99."

    The Italian stares into space for a while, then picks up the picture that he has just drawn and makes a smudge on each tree . "Ere you go."

    The boss scratches his head and says, "How on earth do you get that to represent 99?"

    "Each of da trees is a dirty now. So, it's dirty tree, and dirty tree, and dirty tree. Datsa a 99."

    The boss is getting worried so he says, "All right, last question. Same rules again, but represent the number 100."

    The Italian stares into space some more, then he picks up the picture again and makes a little mark at the base of each tree and says, "Ere you go. One hundred."

    The boss looks at the attempt. "You must be nuts if you think that represents a hundred!"

    (You're going to love this one!)

    The Italian leans forward and points to the marks at the base of each tree and says, "A little doga come along and poopa by eacha tree. So now you gota dirty tree and a turd, dirty tree and a turd, and dirty tree and a turd, data makea one hundred. So, whenna I start?"

    2007-11-01 16:10:24
    66.   Jon Weisman
    62 - Either way :)
    2007-11-01 16:12:54
    67.   Jon Weisman
    65 - I think I would just have substituted Brooklyn or Queens or whatever the appropriate neighborhood is, instead of making it Italian.
    2007-11-01 16:14:57
    68.   Jay Jaffe
    Having watched Torre at close range for 12 years from my New York vantage, I have fewer reservations regarding his taking over the Dodgers than I think most of you do here. Yes, he has his foibles, but he's also shown himself to be more adaptable than commonly given credit for. He handled the in-season integration of Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera into the lineups pretty well, and particularly this past year, showed that he wasn't afraid to bench expensive, gimpy and ineffective veterans like Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi. Yet he was also able to quell any major clubhouse dissent over those moves, which is pretty impressive.

    A few other things to add:

    * He's done an outstanding job managing Jorge Posada's heavy workload, keeping him effective all year long -- there's virtually no difference between Posada's first- and second-half splits careerwise, and his September numbers have historically been strong. Granted, he won't have the DH to help Russell Martin out in the same way, but Torre was a catcher, and he understood the workload.

    * Right now the Dodgers already have a deeper bullpen than the Yankees have had the last few years. In Broxton, Proctor, and Beimel, the Dodgers have three capable setup men, and that's not to say they won't be even deeper. Torre hasn't had more than one good righty setup at any one time in awhile, and his recent lefty relievers have primarily been LOOGYs or mop-and-bucket guys. Beimel is more of a Mike Stanton type, capable of pitching full innings without worrying unduly about platoon matchups.

    * Anyone pointing to Torre's lack of success in his pre-NYY days would do well to remind themselves that this Dodger club has far more to work with than some of those teams did, particularly in the rotation.

    * Whatever the expectations are in LA with the ink still drying on Torre's contract, they're lower and more reasonable than they were in New York. Torre will do a good job of keeping the pressure off his guys by deflecting it towards himself, and this is a guy who can stand more heat than just about any manager I've ever seen. He'll demand accountability for the kind of BS that's gone on around problem children like Jeff Kent over the past few years, and I think he'll find his way through this mix of veterans and youngsters better than Little did last year.

    2007-11-01 16:15:16
    69.   sydneydodger
    I read in an article the other day, which I cannot now find, a quote by Lowe which echoed some of his sentiments from the end of last year, that he'd be pleased if they signed Torre because that meant they would 'go out and get players'. He said there's no way they'd sign Torre and not go and get players.

    He said as much at the end of last season, that the Dodgers needed players to win now. It worries me that Lowe think the team can be made significantly better by signing such free agents as are available.

    2007-11-01 16:17:03
    70.   Bluebleeder87
    so far I give this conference call a 10.
    2007-11-01 16:18:19
    71.   Kayaker7
    47 See Chan Ho Park and Chad Kreuter. ;-)
    2007-11-01 16:18:25
    72.   Dodgers49
    Commentary: Colletti gets to hire identity with skipper

    >> Torre is personable yet shrewd. He is a mayor more than a manager, working to unite his people for one common quest. He is also smart and selfless enough to do something Little rarely did: put baseball people in place to help him run games. <<

    ## Torre began having more success when he had players who ran games for him on the field. It began with his first Yankee catcher, Joe Girardi, and then became the exclusive domain of Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter.

    Now that responsibility falls directly on Russell Martin. ##

    http://www.dailybreeze.com/sports/articles/10937036.html

    2007-11-01 16:18:52
    73.   Michael Green
    I think the Dodgers treated Grady Little badly in the end, but I'm not surprised. Frank McCourt has as much class as a loud belch.

    But Little ultimately didn't do THAT good a job. Yes, success on the field would have reduced carping off of the field, but Little's incredibly laid-back approach let it go on too long, and that's the manager's job. To use Casey Stengel's line, each team has five guys who love the manager, five guys who think he's all right, five who don't care either way, five who hate him and five who are trying to make up their minds. The manager's job, he said, is to try to keep the five who hate him away from the five who are trying to decide. That doesn't quite cover what happened last season, but in terms of handling his men, Little failed.

    Nor was Little consistent as a strategist or in making out his lineup. If Torre does stick with kids, it will be a major difference. Little seemed to have the attitude, "Oh, it's Tuesday, time for Kemp to replace Gonzales," not, "Kemp (or Gonzales) is really hitting, keep the hot hand and sit someone who isn't hitting." That's my impression, anyway.

    None of this is to say that Torre is all that much better. But he will be in a position of strength that Little lacked. Not to view Lasorda's as halcyon days--the media references to the lack of Dodger playoff victories since he left don't take into account that he didn't go anywhere after 1988 and screwed up royally at times--but while McCourt lacks O'Malleyesque stability, Torre, like Lasorda, can manage with the idea that he won't lose his job tomorrow over something and that distinguishes him from Little.

    2007-11-01 16:19:39
    74.   Sam DC
    See now all this time I thought we were talking about Torrey Lovullo.
    2007-11-01 16:20:09
    75.   Bob Timmermann
    Joe Torre is just the 30th different manager in Dodgers franchise history dating back to 1884.

    Three managers accounted for 61 seasons: Wilbert Robinson, Walter Alston, and Tommy Lasorda.

    Alston and Lasorda shared the 1976 season.

    2007-11-01 16:20:31
    76.   Kingmans Performance
    Just where is Joe Torre right now?

    Travelling from New York?

    Is he here in Los Angeles?

    I'm guessing they'll be a formal press conference at the Stadium introducing him tomorrow.

    2007-11-01 16:20:32
    77.   jasonungar07
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/11/01/bc.bbm.a.rod.mudhens.ap/

    lol

    2007-11-01 16:21:58
    78.   D4P
    put baseball people in place to help him run games

    Blech.

    2007-11-01 16:22:29
    79.   Xeifrank
    76. I thought I read somewhere that he'd be here on Monday at 10am, live on 710 ESPN your local sports leader.
    vr, Xei
    2007-11-01 16:22:43
    80.   Sam DC
    See now all this time I thought we were talking about Torrey Lovullo.
    2007-11-01 16:23:40
    81.   Slikk
    I haven't seen or heard anything about Torre's relationship with ARod. Anyone have a clue that this signing could put us closer to winning the ARod sweepstakes? You have to think that if they got along well in NY and you have deals on the table from the Angels and Dodgers that are similiar, that Torre would help to bring a clearer picture.
    2007-11-01 16:24:02
    82.   blue22
    80 - I'm sorry I didn't validate it the first time with a LOL. But LOL!
    2007-11-01 16:24:29
    83.   trainwreck
    Ned is talking about us being young and he is praising Martin, Ethier, Kemp, Loney, Bills, and Broxton.
    2007-11-01 16:24:58
    84.   Jon Weisman
    76 - He had a previous weekend commitment I think. His press conference is Monday.
    2007-11-01 16:25:37
    85.   Jim Hitchcock
    My prediction? Joe Torre, in the interest of flipping Steinbrenner the most flagrant bird possible, will lead us to a WS win next year.
    2007-11-01 16:26:21
    86.   Sam DC
    Oops.

    Anyhow, can't say that I find hiring a manager based on famousness that compelling, but good luck Mr. Torre.

    2007-11-01 16:27:07
    87.   Bluebleeder87
    Ned Colletti is on his A-Game today. He doesn't wanna talk about A-Rod though.
    2007-11-01 16:27:18
    88.   KG16
    75 - I take it you aren't counting Hoffman and Griffin as interim managers? Or Ray Blades?
    2007-11-01 16:27:28
    89.   Robert Fiore
    First impression is, at the very least, he's more interesting than Grady Little, who always struck me as rather generic. If it's a question of Torre v. Little, I'd say Torre. If there was a better alternative available, who was he?

    Second impression, can his talent evaluation be any less good than Colletti's? Or am I just being naive?

    Re 69: How much weight in personnel decisions do you suppose they're giving overpaid pitchers in the last year of their contracts who will be even more overpaid in the dog end of their careers in their next contract, with whoever's silly enough to sign them? A how-stupid-are-they question, I know.

    2007-11-01 16:28:09
    90.   trainwreck
    Ned basically hinted we will at least try with A-Rod, but who knows how hard.
    2007-11-01 16:29:03
    91.   KG16
    86 - worked for the Lakers when they hired Phil the first time...
    2007-11-01 16:29:29
    92.   blue22
    89 - Plus Lowe is, how should I put this, dumb.
    2007-11-01 16:30:18
    93.   Xeifrank
    91. They can thank the Portland Trailblazers for that. :)
    vr, Xei
    2007-11-01 16:30:32
    94.   trainwreck
    91
    Coaches mean more in basketball than they do in baseball and Phil brought a whole lot more than Kurt Rambis to the table.
    2007-11-01 16:30:40
    95.   Jay Jaffe
    A-Rod has said all the right things about enjoying playing for Torre, but the fact is that Torre threw him under the bus in 2006, first with his comments to Verducci for that SI hackjob, then with the batting eighth thing.

    If anything, I think this decreases the likelihood of him signing with LA, but not as much as the fact that Colletti's dealings with Boras over Drew and Gagne were so awful that the Dodgers never really got a shot to bring back Maddux, and the fact that McCourt is a cheapskate who can't afford the operating losses that a $30m/year contract will create even as it raises the long-term value of the franchise via media revenues and other ancillary benefits.

    2007-11-01 16:31:25
    96.   Xeifrank
    When did you first have contact with Joe Toree?
    Ned: uh, uhh, uhhh, four days ago.

    vr, Xei

    2007-11-01 16:32:07
    97.   blue22
    Actually I see a lot of similarities between the Del Harris-to-Phil Jackson transition and this Grady-to-Torre deal. Let's see if the results are similar.
    2007-11-01 16:33:16
    98.   trainwreck
    Someone asked did Ned meet Joe at an Italian restaraunt.
    2007-11-01 16:33:44
    99.   trainwreck
    *restaurant
    2007-11-01 16:33:53
    100.   Bob Timmermann
    A friend thinks that Joe Torre could be the Dodgers Rudy Tomjonavich.
    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2007-11-01 16:33:57
    101.   blue22
    94 - It wasn't Del Harris to Phil? When did Del Harris get canned?
    2007-11-01 16:34:13
    102.   Bluebleeder87
    Boras isn't exactly a CLASSY GUY either, if anything I'm glad NedCo deals with Boras the way he does, that's one thing I really really like about Ned.
    2007-11-01 16:34:37
    103.   D4P
    Q: Torre will be making roughly six times as much as Little. Is there anything in particular you expect Torre to do six times as well?
    2007-11-01 16:34:38
    104.   Bluebleeder87
    98

    oh man, LOL!!

    2007-11-01 16:35:01
    105.   trainwreck
    101
    Mid-season and Kurt Rambis took over.
    2007-11-01 16:35:31
    106.   Bluebleeder87
    Well it's good to know Joe Torre loves SoCal...
    2007-11-01 16:36:08
    107.   KG16
    101 - Del Harris got canned just as the lockout season started, Rambis was hired as in interim and had the Lakers poised to win the Championship, then Eddie Jones was traded and San Antonio won and Phil Jackson was hired.
    2007-11-01 16:36:11
    108.   cult of basebaal
    59 quantrill hurt his knee during the season opening series in japan and altered his mechanics to pitch with it rather than undergoing surgery which worked short-term, but was a crappy long term decision ... i'd apportion blame rather equally between quantrill, the club and joe for what happened
    2007-11-01 16:36:30
    109.   blue22
    105 - Ah, thanks. I was close.
    2007-11-01 16:36:38
    110.   trainwreck
    100
    So we are going to re-hire Grady?
    2007-11-01 16:37:01
    111.   Xeifrank
    Joe Torre use to be the Angels (KTLA-5) TV color announcer. Did a great job too. Would be nice for him to fill in for the Dodgers crew, perhaps doing an inning or two from the dugout.
    vr, Xei
    2007-11-01 16:37:16
    112.   Jon Weisman
    100 - I assume you don't mean he'll be punched in the face by a player who was otherwise thought of as a complete gentleman.
    2007-11-01 16:37:21
    113.   KG16
    110 - no, we'll rehire Tracy
    2007-11-01 16:37:56
    114.   Jon Weisman
    111 - This has come up almost daily, and I support it. Torre in the Dodger booth would have excited me.
    2007-11-01 16:38:36
    115.   ImprobableImpossible
    98
    The Italian restaurant question was totally tongue-in-cheek. Came as a follow-up from the same guy that backed him into changing his "When did you start talks with Torre" answer.
    2007-11-01 16:38:41
    116.   trainwreck
    It is pretty obvious that LA radio personalities have no clue about Andy LaRoche.
    2007-11-01 16:40:32
    117.   Robert Fiore
    65 and 67 put me in mind for the "Brooklyn or Queens" recipe for an omelet: "First, steal an egg . . ."

    I can say that because I'm an Italian born in Queens. Not that being Italian has anything to do with it.

    2007-11-01 16:40:50
    118.   blue22
    116 - Well, to be fair, he didn't come up and hit .340 right away. That's considered a failure for Dodger kids. You gotta kick that door down!
    2007-11-01 16:42:36
    119.   fanerman
    118 Yeah, because the PVL's are trying to keep it up from the other side.
    2007-11-01 16:42:44
    120.   bigcpa
    Listening to Mason & Ireland and the Kamenetzky bros. One of the Kamenetsky's refers to a huge hole at 3B and that AROD would not affect the youth movement by blocking anyone. Someone needs to let Andy LaRoche know he does not exist.
    2007-11-01 16:42:57
    121.   LAT
    Yesterday I was talking to someone in NJ who is a long time and very knowledgeable Yankee fan. She posited that Torre wanted to come to the Dodgers because Steinbrenner still views the Yankee/Dodger rivalry as the only one that counts because it was for the WS, as opposed to the AL East title. In addition, George views his finest hour as building the Reggie Jackson team that beat the pants off the Dodgers. Thus, coming to the Dodgers is about the biggest revenge Joe could take on George. Maybe accurate, maybe not, but I'm willing to run with it.
    2007-11-01 16:43:10
    122.   bigcpa
    116 Yeah- what he said.
    2007-11-01 16:45:08
    123.   Bob Timmermann
    121
    I did not realize that the Steinbrenner Yankees beat the pants off the Dodgers by winning 2 of 3 World Series matchups.

    All of which lasted six games.

    And there hasn't been a Dodgers-Yankees World Series since I was 15 years old.

    2007-11-01 16:45:09
    124.   fanerman
    122 I'm glad the motto for True Blue LA is still "A Place To Talk About Andy LaRoche And The Dodgers."
    2007-11-01 16:46:34
    125.   sydneydodger
    re 89, I don't think they give any weight to his views. I have never been a professional athlete, so I do not know how different the dynamics are to amateur sport. But I know that in the latter, if people are not playing for each other, and think that there are people who should be there but are not, then that extra effort that makes the difference is missing from player's performance.

    I know people talk about pro athletes playing for themselves, but when I look at the good teams of late, they've been playing for each other not themselves. at least for that season, and at least it appears that way.

    2007-11-01 16:49:48
    126.   bigcpa
    AROD 1995:
    .232/.264/.408
    42K, 6BB (142 AB)

    If only we had a chance to see what kind of reception he'd have gotten in LA with that line.

    2007-11-01 16:56:36
    127.   CajunDodger
    #$@%&

    I leave for a meeting and I miss an entire press conference. Work is really starting to interfere with my life...

    Does anyone know where I can find the audio from the conference call?

    2007-11-01 16:57:35
    128.   silverwidow
    127 570klac.com
    2007-11-01 16:58:44
    129.   silverwidow
    128 That's where I've found past media interviews with Ned. It may or may not be there.
    2007-11-01 17:01:32
    130.   CajunDodger
    128
    Not there yet, but hopefully they will podcast it.

    Thanks.

    2007-11-01 17:03:26
    131.   Jon Weisman
    127 - Rule 1.
    2007-11-01 17:06:55
    132.   RELX
    76. Torre was in New York this afternoon doing a benefit. I heard him interviewed around 2:00 EST on WFAN.
    2007-11-01 17:08:32
    133.   CajunDodger
    131
    Sorry

    I will keep my fingers off of the shift+# keys from now on...

    2007-11-01 17:09:22
    134.   sydneydodger
    the interview is on MLB.com now
    2007-11-01 17:11:16
    135.   ryu
    President Tom LaSorda was quoted in the news today. He explained, "We have to move now to adjust the way our company looks and acts to reflect a smaller market."

    Of course I'm talking about the President of Chrysler, who today announced plans to lay off thousands of jobs and cut four models.

    2007-11-01 17:16:56
    136.   Johnson
    135 Of course I'm talking about the President of Chrysler, who today announced plans to lay off thousands of jobs and cut four models.

    But how will they ever land any more photo shoots if they're all scarred up?

    2007-11-01 17:18:45
    137.   D4P
    136
    And do they really want to upset William Munny...?
    2007-11-01 17:19:45
    138.   ishXdavid
    135 "We have to move now to adjust the way our company looks and acts to reflect a smaller market."

    LOL! I was afraid Tommy had been reading too much DodgerThoughts.

    2007-11-01 17:21:02
    139.   popup
    Joe has to be getting up there in age. I remember him playing when I was a kid. His health has not been the best either.

    This is not a move I would have made if I owned the Dodgers, but then again I would not have hired Grady in the first place. As much as I disliked the Fox Dodgers, keeping Bob Daily and Dan Evans in place would have been far better than the turmoil of the past few years.

    Stan from Tacoma

    2007-11-01 17:23:22
    140.   Bob Timmermann
    139
    So we should expect Joe Torre to do a commercial along the line of Lasorda's.

    "I don't get cancer in my prostate. I give prostate cancer to others!"

    2007-11-01 17:24:08
    141.   D4P
    "I have a delicious shake for breakfast, one for lunch, and then a sensible dinner"
    2007-11-01 17:29:20
    142.   Bob Timmermann
    Joe Torre was sold on Los Angeles because of its large supply of green tea.
    2007-11-01 17:31:09
    143.   Strike4
    Gary Sheffield dissed Torre after leaving the Yankees. Another positive in Joe's favor.
    2007-11-01 17:33:55
    144.   alnyden
    The more I reflect on this, the more I am pleased with the outcome. The bottom line is, the situation with the Dodgers at the end of the season was a disaster, not because of the losses but the issues with the team not getting along. Grady as the manager has to be at least partially to blame. More importantly, if reports are true that he was beaten down and miserable, then he should not be the manager. I think you have to be tougher than that to survive managing a big league club. The fact that he couldn't handle Coletti's feedback and didn't speak to him for 3 weeks does not speak well to his personal abilities. The fact that he was even contemplating quitting means he should go. We need someone in charge, someone confident, and Torre can be that guy. A manager can not win games, but maybe he can prevent the kind of meltdown we were treated to this year.
    2007-11-01 17:35:57
    145.   Marty
    137 Those weren't models.
    2007-11-01 17:36:48
    146.   SgtWyatt
    Ya know, for as much as we hated Grady Little and complained about him staying on board, there sure is an awful lot of complaining all the sudden about getting rid of him. C'mon fickle fans.
    2007-11-01 17:38:16
    147.   underdog
    talking about the subject on hand right now on ESPNNews. Tim Kurkijian says that Torre won't worry about LA media given he dealt with NY Media; that the Dodgers can win the division next year but need one big bat that scares people (there's a real new idea); he doesn't see the Dodgers being able to get A Rod; he does believe Mattingly and Bowa will come with him, that was one reason this took longer than expected, to negotiate their contracts, too; and that he does not see any Yankee players going to the Dodgers to join Torre (including Pettite). The Dodgers will have some money to deal with but free agent pool isn't very strong. They need to find way to improve team and they will. Says TK.
    2007-11-01 17:38:32
    148.   regfairfield
    146 I never wanted to get rid of him, nor did a good amount of people on here.
    2007-11-01 17:38:56
    149.   underdog
    And now Tommy Lasorda gushing on ESPNN, and I'm turning the channel with nausea...
    2007-11-01 17:39:59
    150.   fanerman
    I had no problem with keeping Little. I really hope Colletti doesn't do anything too stupid.
    Show/Hide Comments 151-200
    2007-11-01 17:40:13
    151.   underdog
    I didn't want to get rid of Grady at all, though I thought he made some managerial gaffes this season. But I thought management and injuries were more to blame for not making the playoffs this year. And I've said this often here.
    2007-11-01 17:45:37
    152.   ToyCannon
    I did
    2007-11-01 17:45:38
    153.   bhsportsguy
    I will presume that Joe Torre will not say a whole lot between now and Monday, perhaps they will close deals with his coaches.
    2007-11-01 17:50:33
    154.   KevinP78
    After reading Jon's post, I read this in the comments:
    "Reflecting upon this, I see a great deal of similarity between Torre and Little. Not complete similarity, but I'm not sure there's enough difference to be significant

    And certainly not enough to warrant a salary six times a high."

    I have to disagree. If Torre can net the players we need to send us over the top, then of course he's worth the extra money. I think it's a safe bet to say players (particularly the free agents on the market that we should targer) want to play under Joe Torre. And a guy like Torre demads respect- which to me says the clubhouse explosion could not happen under Joe Torre. And if he truly brings Mattingly and Bowa over, he's worth every penny! Loney being coached by Donny Baseball? Give me a break! I welcome this move whole heartedly!

    2007-11-01 17:56:04
    155.   natepurcell
    If Preston ever makes it, that would be neat to see that father/son thing.
    2007-11-01 17:56:40
    156.   PadreJeremy
    Way to overanalyze the hire. Sometimes its an image or reputation that means more then anything. Torre brings this image and that is what LA needs. Its kind of like Tony LaRussa with the Cardinals.

    The Dodgers should be comended for bringing a superstar manager to LA. Now they need that marquee free agent ie Arod and then this team gets more national attention like they did in the 70s when I was just learning to be a jealous but admiring Padres fan.

    Sometimes these kind of additions cant be explained on paper, but you know your team is now better.

    2007-11-01 17:57:49
    157.   Marty
    72 My goodness, that is some bad writin...

    Torre's arrival signifies the end of McCourt's awkward transitional period. This is finally the hire General Manager Ned Colletti never had the opportunity to make when he first took the job. Little was a glorified interim manager, a stopgap with a stopwatch that was running the second he was hired.

    Yay! No more awkwardness from McCourt! It's also good to know that Frank stopped telling Ned not to hire the manager he wanted.

    Little was a bad actor who didn't realize that choppy monologues only work in this town if you're a dumb blonde, not if you're old and gray. He was the classic minor league manager over his head in the big leagues.... If you can't hold the media, there's no way you can hold a ballclub. The down-home demeanor was perfect for the Greenville Braves, not for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    So Little's interviews are what did him in.

    The Dodgers think of themselves as crisp and efficient. The Dodgers, from the top down, think of themselves as East Coast elegance personified.

    Eastern-most in Quality...

    In his place comes Torre, who will find Los Angeles to be a highly superficial baseball town compared to New York. The atmosphere around Dodgers games can sometimes resemble B-movie sets, where ego and self-importance are everything.

    Wait a minute. What happened to that East Coast elegance just last paragraph?

    Managing in the National League is a different creature. It would be wise for Torre to continue his trend of employing sharp lieutenants, and he should hire one with recent NL experience. If he doesn't want to, the Dodgers need to hire one for him.

    In other words, Torre's an idiot.

    Players love a winner, because it makes them feel like one. They are almost universally followers. Torre has rings, which is important for a franchise that has forgotten how to finish what it started.

    Besides the mangled sentences, he makes it sound like this is Lord of the Rings.

    Torre is also a good fit for Colletti, who also likes older players. Now the Dodgers have to make the call and pick which 20-something players they really believe can play, and discard the rest. The answer is not in free agency. Alex Rodriguez would look nice, but don't bank on it. The Dodgers can sell out just as easily with Andy LaRoche playing third base.

    Too many also's, plus if they like older players, why would they pick out the young ones they like. And what does sell out mean?

    Casey Stengel has been dead for 32 years and even his accomplishments as Yankees manager are occasionally questioned because of the talent his teams had. You can argue that Torre only won with talent, but at some point, the manager's influence is felt.

    Umm, what point exactly is that?

    The reason is because no single player ever wants to be held accountable for something. The manager always wears it. For the Dodgers' immediate future, the Rolex is a better fit than the windbreaker.

    What does this even mean?

    2007-11-01 17:59:18
    158.   SgtWyatt
    Meh, then I guess it was only me. Frankly, Little was just wrong for the Dodgers. His managerial style didn't work, he wasn't a strong enough personality to put up with all the egos on the team. He didn't know how to manage the lineup and frankly I'm sick and tired of having to put up with his learning curve. He was a so-so minor league manager, got lucky in Boston then blew it, and couldn't find his groove in Los Angeles.

    I think Torre is a great match for the Dodgers just as long as fans realize that they can't necessarily expect a championship next year. Give the guy a little time and have some faith. Colleti is the big prolem and Little was much weaker than Colleti. Torre is a stronger manager than Colleti is a general manager so I think we might actually see some legitimate baseball next season.

    2007-11-01 18:02:55
    159.   Greg Brock
    Marty loves the Daily Breeze.
    2007-11-01 18:05:19
    160.   trainwreck
    Rolex and windbreaker?

    Worst analogy EVER!

    2007-11-01 18:10:38
    161.   Sam DC
    Someone here once recommended Alan Furst's between the wars spy novels, and I want to thank you. I read Night Soldiers and am now trying to find time to read Dark Star.

    He's one of the writers where sentence after sentence you find yourself pausing just to marvel at the depth and precision of language and detail.

    Marvelous stuff. Like the lady in the progressive auto insurance commercial, I feel compelled to pass on this wonderful find, so I urge others who enjoy that sort of thing to give Furst a try.

    2007-11-01 18:13:04
    162.   Sam DC
    "one of those writers"
    2007-11-01 18:21:25
    163.   Telemachos
    Furst is one of the really good ones. He's got his little niche and he doesn't stray from it, but damn, he's good at evoking a particular mood. You can practically smell the stale cigarettes and woolen overcoats drying over the radiator.
    2007-11-01 18:23:09
    164.   Linkmeister
    Sam, I don't think it was I who recommended Furst, but I recognize the name. The first time I saw "Dark Star" recommended was over at Brad DeLong's economics/politics blog. I always listen to former Deputy Ass't Sec'ys of Treasury (or some such title). ;)
    2007-11-01 18:32:23
    165.   dajerz
    The view from Boston (no never a Red Sox fan!):
    I fear that the Dodgers are getting Torre after his best years. I don't think he'll have enough fuel in his tank and won't have half the available talent that he had with the Yankees.

    However one big plus for Torre is that he is out of the New York pressure cooker where he was expected to deliver a world series team every season.

    The perception on the east coast of the west coast, particularly in Boston and NYC, is that people don't take baseball as seriously as they do (you know start for the exits in the seventh inning, etc.). I can say that Red Sox fans take the sport as if it IS life or death, and Yankee fans are right behind them in this regard. You could of asked Grady about this fact... So perhaps Torre can gain a little breathing room.

    Now my question as a "Nomah" fan is this: What are the implications for Nomar vz. Torre? Yes he is a veteran's manager, but as has been stated he is not afraid to bench a veteran if they are limping along for one reason or another.

    2007-11-01 18:36:05
    166.   Dodgers49
    New job, coast, challenges for Torre

    >> On the plus side of the Dodgers equation, Torre will be working with a shrewd and diligent general manager, Ned Colletti. <<

    http://tinyurl.com/3xzdkj

    WOW! The World Series is ours.

    2007-11-01 18:38:36
    167.   scareduck
    165 - Read The Fine Article above.
    2007-11-01 18:38:53
    168.   D4P
    166
    He won four World Series with the Yankees. If none of those came after 2000, the fact that the Yankees each October found themselves facing somebody with much better pitching, indicated that the dry spell was hardly the manager's fault.

    So, the four World Series where the Yankees found themselves facing somebody without much better pitching were hardly to the manager's credit...?

    2007-11-01 18:41:33
    169.   D4P
    Regarding the "Torre's credibility will attract great players" meme:

    How often do players base their team decisions upon the manager rather than upon the financial offer...?

    2007-11-01 18:42:11
    170.   underdog
    Wow, great MLS playoff game tonight. 2-2 Chicago and DC, but DC is down 3-2 aggregate, and they're into stoppage time. DC scored a goal that was nullified because of a hand ball call. Great comeback by DC after being down 2-0. On ESPN.
    2007-11-01 18:47:42
    171.   D4P
    In any case, Joe Torre deserved better than he received at the end of the day from the New York Yankees. He deserved to have a managing job, with a modicum of security and he has one, with a team rich in history and tradition

    Emphasis on modicum.

    2007-11-01 18:50:18
    172.   Bluebleeder87
    Ben Platt has an on air interview with NedCo if anybody is interested (MLB.Com)
    2007-11-01 18:58:19
    173.   Daniel Zappala
    35 It has to be said, but we also don't have a bullpen that's bothered by some measly bugs. :-)
    2007-11-01 19:03:26
    174.   MikeB
    158. ... Frankly, Little was just wrong for the Dodgers. ... He was a so-so minor league manager ...

    If you are going to impugn someone's reputation at least have the decency to do it accurately.

    in 16 years managing in the minor leagues, compiled a record of 1,054-903 (.539)...on May 15, 1995, earned his 1,000th managerial win when Triple-A Richmond defeated Scranton Wilkes-Barre, 4-0...managed eight teams to the postseason during his minor league tenure, compiling a 22-15 (.595) record in postseason play...won league postseason titles with Hagerstown (1981), Pulaski (1986), Greenville (1992) and Richmond (1994)...had 12 teams post winning records during his minor league managing days the 1992 Double-A Greenville Braves compiled a gaudy record of 100-43 (.699) under his tutelage and ran away with the Southern League title...the 1992 team set four league and 24 club records...was named Manager of the Year by Baseball America and The Sporting News in 1992...received his respective leagues Manager of the Year award four times, taking the honor with Hagerstown (1981), Durham (1989), Greenville (1992) and Richmond (1994)..

    2007-11-01 19:06:43
    175.   Daniel Zappala
    My comment on the Torre hiring: Long live the Italians.
    2007-11-01 19:07:06
    176.   gvette
    Torre isn't a stranger to So. Cal., having been a (very good)Angels broadcaster in the late '80's (used to see him a lot in the Newport area). If the managing thing doesn't work out,he'd be (a pricey) improvement over the Dodger's #2 &3 announcers.

    Also, don't forget that he came within an RJ Reynolds bunt of winning back to back divisions with a Braves team that had a few stars (Murphy,Horner, Niekro), and a lot of guys even diehard Braves fans couldn't name (Rafael Ramirez? Bruce Benedict?)

    2007-11-01 19:07:57
    177.   Bob Timmermann
    169
    One could make the argument that Barry Bonds signed with the Giants because he wanted to play for Dusty Baker. Baker's ascension as manager and Bonds signing with the Giants happened at about the same time.
    2007-11-01 19:10:03
    178.   D4P
    a lot of guys even diehard Braves fans couldn't name (Rafael Ramirez? Bruce Benedict?)

    Diehard Braves fans could name Rafael Ramirez. In fact, I think they nick-named him: "Raffy"

    2007-11-01 19:12:11
    179.   El Lay Dave
    I am amused at the occasional wailing and gnashing of teeth about Ned Colletti's S.F. Giants connection or, now, the managerial/coaching staff imports from the N.Y. Yankees, because both clubs are historically rivals of the Dodgers. I don't think Angels fans care that their manager and some coaches carry a Dodger pedigree. Phil Jackson's roots are in the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks - he idolizes Red Holzman for goodness sake!

    Once upon a time, a Los Angeles franchise that often came close, but never could hurdle its last barriers, despite the presence of homegrown and imported talent, decide that it needed a new head man and brought in a man who was most closely associated with its biggest rival. That man, in his first season in L.A., led the team to a long-awaited championship, getting a key veteran to buy into his approach for the best team results. That was ex-Celtic Bill Sharman (also ex-Dodger farmhand), who was either coach, general manager or president for the Lakers from 1971 until 1990.

    Of course, Bill was a heck of a lot younger than Joe Torre is now.

    2007-11-01 19:15:02
    180.   gvette
    178. Yeah, their ace starter (Pascual Perez) was best remembered for getting lost on an Atlanta freeway, and missing a start while he circled the city looking for his off ramp.
    2007-11-01 19:15:52
    181.   Jon Weisman
    156 - "Sometimes its an image or reputation that means more than anything."

    I was going to make a crack that the Dodgers should have hired John Wooden, but I'll just leave it at this: How can you actually believe that?

    2007-11-01 19:15:58
    182.   scareduck
    175 - maybe it's just me, but Torre always looks like he's gonna put a hit on somebody.
    2007-11-01 19:17:35
    183.   Shaun P
    Good luck with Mr. Torre, Dodger fans. May you experience only good luck with the Wheel of Guts, may your best relievers' arms survive the year still in working order, and may you never, ever know the horror of "now starting at first base, Miguel Cairo".

    I for one am fascinated by the prospect of dropping by here in June or July and seeing if the old dog has learned a new trick or two.

    2007-11-01 19:18:13
    184.   Jon Weisman
    176 - If he hadn't brought in a pitcher who hadn't been warming up from the bullpen, perhaps R.J. doesn't even get to bunt :)

    I hope it's clear that I've got no axe to grind with Torre. Personally, I like him and respect him quite a bit. It's just the notion that he's going to make the Dodgers champions simply with his aura that troubles me.

    2007-11-01 19:21:12
    185.   Greg Brock
    184 Come on, Jon. Pinella went to Tampa, and look at the wonders he worked.

    Oh, right...

    2007-11-01 19:21:21
    186.   underdog
    181 Way to over-analyze!

    The more important question is who will Torre let join the Finer Things Club?

    2007-11-01 19:22:09
    187.   Greg Brock
    186 No spoilers!
    2007-11-01 19:23:12
    188.   gvette
    184- In the midst of all of this Torre-mania, maybe you can bring back your excellent column on the RJ Reynolds game as a cautionary tale.
    2007-11-01 19:24:27
    189.   Jon Weisman
    Breaking news!

    http://tinyurl.com/yr33jk

    Dodgers ace Penny to watch horse run at Santa Anita

    2007-11-01 19:26:23
    190.   LAT
    Just drove home. The guy on 710 radio, Joe McDonald I think, says he has the following 2 facts on very good authority from two high ranking Dodger insiders:

    1. Frank wanted and got Torre. Ned wanted Girardi and pushed hard. Frank wanted Torre and did nearly all the negotitations himself w/o Ned;

    2. "Ned is on a very short leash" and is close to winding up like Depo is the Dodgers don't do well out of the gate this season.

    2007-11-01 19:28:25
    191.   D4P
    190
    Ned is the best decision Frank has ever made. In his life.
    2007-11-01 19:28:48
    192.   Matt Conroy
    Jon, where exactly has anyone said that Torre will make the Dodgers champions with his aura alone? I'd be happy to see us win a post-season game for a change, and I think that at least is a realistic goal for season one.

    I'm a little mystified by the generally negative reaction toward the Torre hiring, both from those out there in Dodgerland and the media (take a look at JA Adande's piece on ESPN.com if you need an example). I have a feeling it has more to do with the bad vibes about McCourt and the handling of the Grady departure than it does anything else.

    2007-11-01 19:31:00
    193.   StolenMonkey86
    176 - The darker part of that era for Torre was Brad Komminsk. Supposedly Torre messed with his swing in the majors and he was never the same since.

    His minor league stats were really good, so that would make sense

    http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/K/Brad-Komminsk.shtml

    2007-11-01 19:31:04
    194.   Bluebleeder87
    182

    To me, He's got that calm Al Pacino/godfather Demeanure about 'em, you know like in that part were they start kissing him in the hand & all, like that.

    2007-11-01 19:31:08
    195.   gpellamjr
    190 Not that I necessarily believe point #2, but it has me thinking. Would a mid-season firing be more likely to result in an in-house promotion of Logan White or Kim Ng?

    A related question that I know has been asked here before, but I can't recall any answer. Does anyone have any ideas about what kind of GM Ng would make?

    2007-11-01 19:32:02
    196.   El Lay Dave
    Scott Proctor on Torre and Little:

    "I'm excited. I think it's going to be great for the organization. He knows how to win. He knows what it takes. He's a very directed and gifted leader.

    "Grady is a great man. He's definitely a players' manager in the fact that he cared about what the players wanted. I think Joe's really good at letting the players be who they are, but yet you have to be who you are within the parameters of the team. I think that's what he's going to be better at than Grady."

    Lifted from the Press-Telegram web site:
    http://tinyurl.com/35lsoo

    2007-11-01 19:34:07
    197.   Greg Brock
    192 It's not negativity. It's ambivalence. The Little situation was handled horribly, and most of us believe a manager matters very little. Maybe six or seven game swing, max.

    This is a splashy hire. And that's fine. I like Joe Torre very much. But it's a manager.

    2007-11-01 19:34:36
    198.   natepurcell
    Does anyone have any ideas about what kind of GM Ng would make?

    Definitely the kind that doesn't leave the toilet seat up.

    2007-11-01 19:36:38
    199.   Jon Weisman
    192 - It's the thrust of nearly every column on the Torre hiring. The sheer force of his personality is exactly what the Dodgers need.

    It's in the article I linked above, it was in the Times today, it's on MLB.com, it's everywhere.

    I do agree with this: "I have a feeling it has more to do with the bad vibes about McCourt and the handling of the Grady departure than it does anything else." Again, I have gone out of my way to say I have nothing against Torre. I just don't see him as a savior, which is how most columnists are painting him.

    I agree with 197.

    2007-11-01 19:37:25
    200.   Bluebleeder87
    190

    I kind of really don't like Frank McCourt, reading that.

    Show/Hide Comments 201-250
    2007-11-01 19:38:35
    201.   Jon Weisman
    192 - Winning a postseason game would be just about as realistic a goal with any (living) manager in L.A. Dodger history as it is with Torre. It's still going to depend much more on the composition of the roster than anything the manager does.
    2007-11-01 19:41:18
    202.   scareduck
    190 - assuming this is true, I would guess the names of those two Dodger insiders are Tommy Lasorda, and Tommy Lasorda.
    2007-11-01 19:44:14
    203.   El Lay Dave
    193
    LaRoche AAA career vs. Komminsk 1983 AAA

    Name... PA. 2B 3B HR BB Ks BA. OBP SLG OPS
    ALaRoche 541 32 2 28 64 74 .315 .399 .572 .971
    Komminsk 501 24 6 24 78 70 .334 .433 .596 1.029

    2007-11-01 19:44:16
    204.   Jon Weisman
    Rereading 201, I'm not happy with my first sentence. I stand by my second sentence.
    2007-11-01 19:48:28
    205.   StolenMonkey86
    Komminsk did still make it into "A Happier 9/11" though.
    2007-11-01 19:49:36
    206.   gvette
    202- For some reason, most Dodger "insiders" quoted seem to be named Tom Lasorda.

    Does this report mean that this time Tommy wasn't doing his standard push for his guy Bobby Valentine?

    Somewhere in a Fox Studio, is Kevin Kennedy complaining of a pro Italian hiring bias?

    2007-11-01 19:50:24
    207.   Greg Brock
    202 So is Lasorda an apparatchik, being used by the McCourts to disseminate info on background? Or is he a mole?

    Or is he just out for himself? Don't answer that...

    2007-11-01 19:51:14
    208.   Matt Conroy
    201 - True. Time will tell.

    In any case, thanks Jon for providing an intelligent forum for discussion of all of this, for someone isolated out here in Yankee country.

    2007-11-01 19:53:16
    209.   StolenMonkey86
    Joe Torre was 2 for 7 with a walk and a strikeout lifetime against Dave LaRoche.
    2007-11-01 19:53:57
    210.   KG16
    197 - six or seven games, puts the Dodgers right in the middle of the wild card race at the end of this season.

    Again, I'll be a bit contrarian and argue that a good manager (and good coaches) are able to get more out their players. Yes, some players are simply so good that it doesn't matter who their coach is, but those athletes are rare. Perhaps Torre can put the young Dodgers over the top.

    2007-11-01 19:55:38
    211.   gvette
    193,203- Without looking it up, didn't most of the Braves best prospects of that era (Brett Butler, Brook Jacoby) end up in places like Cleveland in bad trades engineered by wannabe GM Ted Turner?
    2007-11-01 19:56:26
    212.   Bluebleeder87
    if anything it is gonna be interesting seeing Torre in Dodger blue (for the 1st time) I'm sure I'll get use to it, we'll see how the formal introduction goes on monday.
    2007-11-01 19:58:03
    213.   El Lay Dave
    212 Mattingly (assuming he's on the staff) will be more weird.
    2007-11-01 20:00:39
    214.   trainwreck
    Brian Sabean said that it would be a reach for the Giants to get A-Rod.
    2007-11-01 20:01:36
    215.   KG16
    213 - I think it will be weird through spring training, but in this day and age, I'm just use to seeing guys in different jerseys than what seems natural (Garnett in Celtic green, Boggs and Clemens in Pinstripes, anyone wearing a Raiders or Rams jersey, Gretzky in a Blues and then Rangers jersey).
    2007-11-01 20:02:07
    216.   LAT
    202. Its Joe McDonald. I take it with a box of salt. He is such a blowhard its hard to believe anything he says. Moreover, why would any high ranking insider tell that knucklehead anything, much less two insiders. I don't think he made it up out of whole cloth but I question how high or inside the source(s) is. It might be the guy switching out the urinals in the field level bathrooms.
    2007-11-01 20:03:45
    217.   LAT
    214. It will be a reach for everyone, even the team that gets him.
    2007-11-01 20:04:42
    218.   El Lay Dave
    Tony Jackson speculates on Mattingly as heir-apparent:
    http://blogs.dailynews.com/dodgers/

    "I think there is value to (continuity), and that is the goal," Colletti said. "Joe is 67 years old, and we don't expect Joe to manage a very, very long time. If we can groom somebody under Joe's direction, we look forward to doing that, much like Tommy (Lasorda) was groomed under the direction of Walter (Alston). In my conversations with (Dodgers owners) Frank and Jamie McCourt about where we are going, the ideas we want to put in place and the things we want to build on, that was certainly one of the key components."

    2007-11-01 20:05:54
    219.   LAT
    212. I hope he demands no. 12. That would start things off well.
    2007-11-01 20:06:20
    220.   KG16
    heh - ESPN has an article up saying that Bonds will boycott the HOF if the ball with the asterisk is displayed... how sweet is that?
    2007-11-01 20:09:53
    221.   yankz
    You guys know what EDSP stands for yet?
    2007-11-01 20:10:37
    222.   Jon Weisman
    221 - Proctor came over three months ago.
    2007-11-01 20:19:21
    223.   El Lay Dave
    219 LOL! Torre, of course, wore 6 with the Yankees, but 9 as manager of the Braves. Given that the Yankees' 9 is retired, I wonder which is his true preference, and who will be looking for a new number, Abreu (6) or Pierre (9)?

    222 92 days ago.

    2007-11-01 20:23:43
    224.   sydneydodger
    is it THE Fernando Valenzuela in the Mexican Pacific League playing for Aguilas de Mexicali?

    And is Brandon Boggs on his team any relation to Wade?

    http://tinyurl.com/33kq8d

    2007-11-01 20:26:49
    225.   sydneydodger
    WTF? IS Pete Rose, Jr The Pete Rose?

    http://tinyurl.com/29pgps

    It can't be can it?

    2007-11-01 20:31:58
    226.   LAT
    I love Brry.

    "That's my emotions now. That's how I feel now. When I decide to retire five years from now, we'll see where they are at that moment," he added.

    Looks like Barry will be a Dodger cause Ned is the only guy dumb enough to give him a 5 year deal.

    BTW, I would love to see the Dodgers give Barry a one year deal.

    2007-11-01 20:32:12
    227.   El Lay Dave
    Valenzuela, judging by the birthday (today), age 47, yes.

    Boggs, no.

    Rose, son of the famed gambler.

    2007-11-01 20:32:35
    228.   underdog
    Did you guys hear about this movie called Bee Movie? It opens tomorrow. Hasn't gotten much publicity.

    Did you guys hear about Joe Torre becoming Dodger man...

    Ah, I need to get some sleep.

    2007-11-01 20:33:25
    229.   El Lay Dave
    228 I understand there's going to be a new show called Frank TV?
    2007-11-01 20:36:33
    230.   Marty
    The heck with Torre. Gvette is back.

    Welcome back after a long hiatus.

    2007-11-01 20:37:37
    231.   gpellamjr
    Somebody say something to inspire me to grade 60 more papers on Paul's contribution to the early church.*

    *Note: that something must have nothing to do with Paul or the early church, or the fact that finishing grading means I can get back to work on my thesis.

    2007-11-01 20:44:18
    232.   airforceone
    Congratulations to the Dodgers for hiring such a high profile manager who should be more qualified to handle clubhouse unrest. I hope they don't fall in the trap of signing A-Rod because A-Rod would not guarantee winning the NL West much less getting them to the WS. A-Rod by himself would not even get the Dodgers to the level of Diamonbacks, the Rockies, or the Padres. Would the results they get from A-Rod bring $30 million more in results than LaRoche? Would the Dodgers be better served by playing the hand they have been dealt and then adjust at the trading deadline if necessary? It is time for Colletti to step and do something that cost effective and will improve the team for years to come.
    2007-11-01 21:00:03
    233.   yankz
    222 Was he still really used every day?
    2007-11-01 21:07:42
    234.   underdog
    Yes, yes, Every Day Scott Proctor, we know. We only hope Torre has mellowed and at least gets him to be EODSP instead.
    2007-11-01 21:10:27
    235.   LAT
    I heard Torre took this job just so he could boss Proctor around again. In fact, Ned ordered Scott to pick Joe up at the airport on Monday.
    2007-11-01 21:22:07
    236.   Jon Weisman
    225 - Rule 1.
    2007-11-01 21:38:57
    237.   Charenton
    Shooting the (Daily) Breeze…

    "Little was a bad actor who didn't realize that choppy monologues only work in this town if you're a dumb blonde, not if you're old and gray. He was the classic minor league manager over his head in the big leagues.... If you can't hold the media, there's no way you can hold a ballclub. The down-home demeanor was perfect for the Greenville Braves, not for the Los Angeles Dodgers…"

    -----
    And if this is supposedly the case, how did a similar character like Walter Alston succeed in Los Angeles for almost 20 Years ?
    -------
    Too bad that journalists don't have
    licences, that could be suspended when they abuse their position…

    2007-11-01 21:43:00
    238.   regfairfield
    232 Since A-Rod in a down year is above and beyond what I would expect from LaRoche, I would say he'd be a huge help.
    2007-11-01 21:44:07
    239.   gvette
    230- Thanks Marty, Hope life has treated you well in Altadena.

    In my case,"a long hiatus" began by having to ask my wife "What do you mean we have to shop for another crib set?"

    2007-11-01 21:53:42
    240.   Dodgers49
    Lowe ready for Torre era to begin

    >> "You have to assume that if they bring in Torre, they'll bring in the players to allow him to use his skills and win a World Series, to go out and get the best available. Everyone says that's Alex Rodriguez. Who knows? But, you hope this is the first step toward getting guys in here that have won before. There are all kinds of people we could get." <<

    ## Nonetheless, the hot-stove possibilities have Lowe energized for 2008, a complete shift from the way he felt when the 2007 season unraveled.

    "It was hard to go to the ballpark, and you never want to say that," he said. "What happened took all the fun out of it. We were not on the same page to win. Our communication was very poor, everybody -- me included -- and no one put a stop to it. You don't have to be best friends, but you have to find a way to root for the guy next to you to have the same goal." ##

    %% "There was a lot of animosity, 'anger' really isn't the right word. When young players move in, veterans will get irritated, that's just part of the game. But how some of the conversations were handled, that started the downward spiral. It got to the point, I don't know if it was ugly, but you know when Grady was saying we have to all pull in the same direction? Well, we had people pulling in every direction. That's why we struggled down the stretch. That's why I said that something had to change before Spring Training." <<

    http://tinyurl.com/2do7ut

    2007-11-01 21:56:40
    241.   trainwreck
    Note to Ned, never take Derek Lowe's advice on anything.
    2007-11-01 21:57:52
    242.   LogikReader
    190

    If it is in fact Joe McDonnell (or MacDonald), it couldn't have been on 710. McDonnell, all 570 lbs of him moved over to AM 570 KLAC. He's been there now for a few months.

    He's also a big Angels homer, so don't pay him any mind.

    2007-11-01 21:59:06
    243.   Marty
    239 Yep, so far, so good. Congrats on the new ones!
    2007-11-01 21:59:42
    244.   dzzrtRatt
    179 In addition, who is the ex-Dodger hero out there who should be running the Dodgers now?

    I'm sure we could've gotten an interview with Kirk Gibson. Orel Hershiser was available. So is "T-Bone" Shelby. We could have tried to get Bobby V. Davey Lopes has big-league experience. Jerry Reuss and Eric Karros are handy.

    Do any of them seem like a better answer than Torre? The only better choice with a Dodger pedigree, Mike Scioscia, would think it was a practical joker pretending to be Colletti if he called.

    2007-11-01 22:00:19
    245.   Greg Brock
    I thought this was an interesting piece of writing from Adande:

    "The actions of McCourt just reaffirm a little secret about Los Angeles: all of the behavior that gives this city a bad name comes from people who move here, not the folks who are from here. As soon as the plane lands the new residents throw on the sunglasses, find a hairstylist and start trying to fit in. McCourt, a Bostonian, just bought the flashiest car on the lot and is ready to show off. He might even accessorize with A-Rod."

    No commentary, really. I just thought it was interesting.

    2007-11-01 22:05:31
    246.   trainwreck
    245
    JA Adande thinks Los Angeles is like Isla Vista on Halloween night.
    2007-11-01 22:05:44
    247.   Greg Brock
    244 I would have liked Bobby V. getting the gig.
    2007-11-01 22:07:20
    248.   LAT
    242. It was indeed 570. I actually went out to my car to see what station I left the radio tuned to when I got out.

    245. True or not, its a good line. You can just see Frank and his Persols.

    2007-11-01 22:09:02
    249.   Greg Brock
    248 Fairly or unfairly, until the McCourts bring multiple championships, he'll never be much more than a carpetbagging Red Sox fan.

    Probably because that's what he is.

    2007-11-01 22:11:46
    250.   sporky
    240 Oh, Derek. Be quiet and pitch.

    This part of the article was amusing:

    Teammate Joe Beimel, whose career blossomed playing for Little, said he's eager to play for Torre.

    "The track record speaks for itself," he said. "I hope he gets us back to the playoffs. This speaks volumes about what the team is willing to do to win. I talked to [former Yankee] Scott Proctor today. He said to be ready to pitch a lot. He [Torre] likes to use the bullpen. That's fine with me."

    Show/Hide Comments 251-300
    2007-11-01 22:30:06
    251.   Jon Weisman
    "you have to find a way to root for the guy next to you to have the same goal."

    At some point, I'm sorry, but this really stops being the manager's fault. Do they really need to be reminded to be grown men?

    2007-11-01 22:34:06
    252.   natepurcell
    Derek Lowe talks too much.
    2007-11-01 22:35:56
    253.   Greg Brock
    251 252 It's never too early to start getting in good with the boss.

    You don't want to Schrute your first chance to kiss up.

    2007-11-01 22:40:09
    254.   bhsportsguy
    253 If you start up about Howland's use of timeouts tomorrow, out you go.
    2007-11-01 22:41:21
    255.   trainwreck
    254
    He's one of those, huh.
    2007-11-01 22:45:24
    256.   Greg Brock
    245 Come on. The man can do no wrong in my eyes.

    Howland is my homeboy!

    2007-11-01 22:52:58
    257.   dzzrtRatt
    251 Well, you're right of course. But it wouldn't be hard to get me to believe that the veterans were pulling for the other veterans, and not for the rooks. What Kent, Lowe and LuGo's said on the record gave enough of a clue that what they were saying behind closed doors might have been a lot more demoralizing.

    Lowe's sort of an "oops I did it again" kind of guy. Talented, but a wayward personality. He sounds like he's saying he got caught up in other players' dramas and now regrets it (but wishes Little had intervened, since he's unable to control himself.) His own position on the Dodgers was perfectly secure, but maybe he took sides anyway. D'oh!

    2007-11-01 22:54:36
    258.   trainwreck
    Folks, it is smart to drink beer after playing a sport.

    http://tinyurl.com/29tys4

    2007-11-01 22:54:46
    259.   Bob Timmermann
    I will no longer refer to a certain state university in West Los Angeles in this forum again.

    You can even type the name with periods in it.

    2007-11-01 22:58:42
    260.   Greg Brock
    259 That would be a shame.
    2007-11-01 23:04:52
    261.   trainwreck
    Looks like Bob came down with Dorrellitis.
    2007-11-01 23:06:03
    262.   Bob Timmermann
    It's not often I put pride before typography.
    2007-11-01 23:14:58
    263.   scareduck
    246 - I think the Dodgers are like Microsoft Vista: it keeps rebooting, but after years of development, it still doesn't run well.
    2007-11-01 23:23:07
    264.   Bob Timmermann
    The Orioles have won a playoff series more recently than the Dodgers.

    The Orioles!

    2007-11-01 23:25:07
    265.   Louis in SF
    One thing that seems really depressing about last year's finish is that no one came to Grady's aide. He really needed a solid "veteran" to give vocal support for him playing the kids.

    I have read reports today that Joe is actually good with young players and hope he can find someone-Martin perhaps to be his captain and be the liason to the players. This seems to be something that Little didn't have.

    2007-11-01 23:49:29
    266.   LAT
    265. You raise a good point. It would have been nice if at least one of the vets came out in Grady's defense.

    Jon, nice work taking Vandelay Industries apart for his inaccurate and unfair posts on Banter.

    2007-11-01 23:51:53
    267.   silverwidow
    Plaschke:

    What if Colletti concocts a couple of expensive trades but McCourt, as he reportedly did last summer, kills the deals because he doesn't want to give up the cheaper kids?

    Interesting to see McCourt in the Keep the Kids Camp. Of course, it's Plaschke, so take it with all the salt in Utah.

    2007-11-02 00:05:45
    268.   Greg Brock
    I would think signing Rodriguez would go part and parcel with keeping the kids. Pre-arbitration starters are nice to have with a monster salary like Rodriguez. It's the 9 million dollar detritus that hurts (I'm looking at YOU, unnamed centerfielder and YOU, Mr. Hamm).
    2007-11-02 00:15:51
    269.   trainwreck
    Would McCourt really keep someone around who has a completely different game plan than he has?
    2007-11-02 00:37:04
    270.   Greg Brock
    269 Do we really have any clue about what goes on at Chavez Ravine? We were told that Ned was the best hire that McCourt ever made, and yet we hear about what a short leash he's on. We hear about how Grady is safe, and three weeks later, he's gone. We hear about the commitment to doing things the "Dodger Way," yet the GM and owner are, perhaps, split on what to do.

    It's best just to assume that they are making things up on the fly. The idea that there is some sort of "Grand Plan" is folly.

    2007-11-02 00:47:21
    271.   trainwreck
    Terrible LA media + PR driven, chaotic ownership= tons of bull crap
    2007-11-02 00:54:48
    272.   thinkblue0
    I like the Torre signing, I just hope we follow through with what seems like common sense: play the kids. Outside of an Arod signing or a Cabrera trade, it should be Laroche's job to lose at this point.

    I know I can't stand paying for players on other teams, but honestly, does anyone think we might be able to unload Pierre on another team?

    2007-11-02 01:10:09
    273.   CanuckDodger
    Am I supposed to feel happy that McCourt (supposedly) didn't want to trade away any cheap kids or miserable that Colletti (supposedly) did? What Plaschke said about the Torre hiring meaning that we now HAVE to give up the youth movement and "Win NOW!" is what I have been fearing all along. I wish I didn't care, but I do. So I am miserable, and as I plumb the depths of that misery, I start to see that being a Dodger fan, for me, is like being in love in a Woody Allen movie: it is an occasion not for celebration but for psychiatric treatment, with really serious medication.
    2007-11-02 04:36:15
    274.   dbenzen
    The Dodgers will model themselves after the Red Sox, more so than the Yankees.

    The guy on the hot seat is Colletti. I don't know what, if any, young and upcoming talent he has brought into a Dodger uniform. Not guys like Loney and Kemp, but newbies placed in the system.

    Isn't the key having 2 big boppers in the line-up ala Ortiz and Ramirez?

    Colletti is a protege of Brian Sabean, who destroyed the long-term health of the SF Giants by constantly bringing in established players. I just don't see Ned as a vision guy.

    2007-11-02 05:58:41
    275.   D4P
    "you have to find a way to root for the guy next to you to have the same goal."

    At some point, I'm sorry, but this really stops being the manager's fault. Do they really need to be reminded to be grown men?

    And do you even have to be grown men to have the same goal in baseball? Don't little leaguers want to play well and win? How many goals can there really be in baseball, and how likely are they to be conflicting? Was there any evidence that players weren't trying to play well? If not, what is Lowe even talking about? Is he saying the kids didn't support the veterans' goal of keeping the garbage can in front of Kemp's locker?

    2007-11-02 06:26:39
    276.   D4P
    I missed U.C.L.A.'s big infraction. What did they do...?
    2007-11-02 07:02:13
    277.   uke
    Torre becomes the third manager to skipper both the Yankees and Dodgers. Who are the other two?
    2007-11-02 07:07:58
    278.   Terry A
    218 - All this "grooming" talk is disturbing and nonsensical. There's zero evidence that a manager of Frank McCourt's Dodgers can stay on his watch for more than two seasons, yet Joe Torre is not only going to wildly succeed, he's also going to "groom" one or more of his coaches so they're prepared to keep the feelin' alive? A more likely scenario is that Torre gets an accurate read on the people for whom he works, and he walks away from seasons two and/or three of his contract. And the Dodgers begin yet another managerial search.

    Also, when I read of "grooming," I get a mental picture of Torre licking his thumb in the dugout, then using it to wipe some mustard out of the corners of Don Mattingly's mustache.

    2007-11-02 07:08:35
    279.   Jon Weisman
    Anyone who is boycotting Plaschke, I would not recommend they break that boycott today. The column really spins out.
    2007-11-02 07:17:21
    280.   Bob Timmermann
    279
    But the column is full of creamy goodness!
    2007-11-02 07:18:48
    281.   bluegold
    The Torre signing is the best Dodgers news in years. And I DO hope he represents a WIN-NOW philosophy. Nothing wrong with win now. I'm tired of hearing about some mythical Dodgers dynasty somewhere off in the future. Do you really think that imaginary dynasty down the road is going to be in the thick of a world series hunt year after year after year? I don't. You don't know what's in store in the future, but you CAN control the present with more certainty. Here's hoping McCourt/Colletti/Torre will do everything they can, whatever it takes, to get the Dodgers into the world series within the next 3 years. The sooner the better.
    2007-11-02 07:20:42
    282.   Terry A
    279 - Warning heeded and appreciated.
    2007-11-02 07:32:46
    283.   RIYank
    274 I would have thought that the (current) Yankees model is the same as the (current) Red Sox model. Each team has modified toward the other's model. The Yanks are sticking much more with home-grown talent, and the Sox are spending much more freely for free agents.
    2007-11-02 07:38:11
    284.   CanuckDodger
    281 -- You have got it exactly opposite to what is true: the present cannot be controlled with certainty, because in the short-run luck plays a disproportionate role in outcomes, while in the long-run outcomes are more likely to reflect the true strength or weakness of a plan -- or the foolishness of not having any plan, which has been the Dodger way of doing business for many years. The Yankees and the gargantuan payroll they have had since 2001 keep proving that it is not possible to spend your way to a World Championship.
    2007-11-02 07:52:10
    285.   PHilldodger
    270 Thank you. That is the current Dodgers. There is no "plan" among Dodger leadership other than everyone looking out for themselves.
    2007-11-02 07:57:14
    286.   bluegold
    284. The issue of "short-run luck" is a given, whether talking about win now or win later. Therefore, if that mythical Dodgers dynasty does happen in the future, the short-run luck could still destroy world series hopes down the road.

    20 years is overdue for the Dodgers to be in the world series. The Dodgers apparently agree. You don't hire a 67-year-old manager with a 3-year contract to win 5 years from now. The Dodgers' current philosophy seems to be about win now, and I'm all for it.

    And lastly, win now does not preclude win later. But you certainly have more control over the "now" than the "later."

    Go Dodgers. Go all in.

    2007-11-02 08:10:30
    287.   DodgerBakers
    281 "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: ... and a time to build (Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 3)"

    I think the mistake you are making is that you see the Dodgers in a "win now" season. However, the way their roster is constructed currently is for a win soon and for awhile after that. While winning now doesn't necessarily preclude winning later, the philosophy applied to our situation would mean trading a strong foundation for a team perhaps being competitive for a short time frame.

    I'm not interested in that scenario. I'd much rather build on a strong foundation (i.e. the "kids") than see a bunch of one year rentals on the field who may not get the job done anyway.

    Furthermore, I don't see why the Dodgers can't win now. They have the foundation, they just need the commitment to that foundation.

    2007-11-02 08:11:47
    288.   Disabled List
    Plaschke is just being his usual raconteur self, filling his column with urgent and dire proclamations just so people will read it. I wouldn't care about it if I didn't know that the Dodger FO regards his column as the LA sports scene's conventional wisdom.

    This passage is typical: "Who knows what he will do with Matt Kemp? If he and his veteran coaching staff can reach this marvelously talented but tough-to-coach kid, maybe he can stay. But if Kemp is the one piece who can bring in the big hitter, he's gone."

    Kemp IS the big hitter, you dolt! Thanks to Plaschke, the CW about Kemp has hardened: He's a temperamental head case problem child, the 2nd coming of Albert Belle. What an awful writer.

    Colletti will undoubtedly make unnecessary moves this offseason, just so he can justify his existence as a GM who makes moves. This is especially true now that rumors are swirling that he's on the hot seat. Yet another drawback of the instability that McCourt has created in the organization since he took over. The guy really is 1980s-era Steinbrenner, without the money.

    2007-11-02 08:24:24
    289.   Jon Weisman
    286 - You don't think that for almmost 99.9 percent of the past 20 years, the Dodger philosophy has been "win now"?

    New post up top.

    2007-11-02 08:24:29
    290.   regfairfield
    286 Fortunately, the goals of playing for the future and playing to win now should come together this year. The Dodgers have enough talent right now to be the favorites to win the division, and adding a guy like A-Rod could put us over the top. Shipping off Kemp or Loney or anyone else for guys who have been there before might keep us treading water, but it will hurt the future.

    All of this "wait 'till next year" talk should be over. If the Dodgers can't perform with this team in 2008, they have no excuses, but on the bright side they also have Clayton Kershaw to help come 2009.

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