I waited until now because Grady Little and the Dodgers have officially parted ways, and so now it seems more like a foregone conclusion that Joe Torre will be going from managing the team I hate the most in the American League to the team I hate the most in the National League; they’re just debating terms and coaches now.
You have to feel slightly for Little; getting to hear about him losing his job well before he and the Dodgers parted ways had to suck, and I don’t think you can completely turn off your TV and ignore the papers in order to deal with it. Now, the coverage of Torre’s trip to the Left Coast almost revolves around whether he could bring another ex-Yankee with him to Dodger Stadium, the one whose agent leaked the information that he was opting out during the World Series.
Frankly, I don’t buy that for a second — really, what Alex Rodriguez and Scott Boras are about is money, and frankly, I commend them for it. (We toss around “mercenary” and such without considering that if someone is willing to pay him, he should take it — especially in pro sports, where owners and management don’t really do loyalty too much either when it comes to players.)
I digress — this is about Torre, not Rodriguez. Now, Joe will have a hell of task on his hands — dealing with a franchise with some unproductive veterans (looking at you, Nomar), grumpy ones (Jeff Kent and Luis Gonzalez) and young players that are the future of the team (Russell Martin, James Loney, Matt Kemp). The dynamic is what tore the Dodgers apart down the stretch (never mind their injured starting rotation), and the new manager has to fix that first before any progress can be made.
It’s tough sledding. I hope he’s not successful, but I’m guessing I’ll be gnashing my teeth at him while he makes the team competitive again in some way.
Photo: AP/Julie Jacobson