More changes for the struggling Los Angeles Dodgers. A press release from the organization yesterday announced the departure of Manager Joe Torre and his replacement– another former New York Yankee, Don Mattingly.
In the release, Dodger General Manager, Ned Colletti, praised Torre for his contribution to the team: “Joe Torre has been a great friend, a strong leader and an incredible presence for this organization and I cannot thank him enough for his service to the Dodgers. I respect his decision to step aside…”
“It has been an incredible honor to wear the Dodger uniform and I will always carry with me some very special memories from the past three seasons,” Torre is quoted in the release as saying. “This was not a decision I took lightly but I believe it’s the right one for myself and my family…”
Late yesterday at a news conference, The ex-Yankee manager admitted he was retiring from the Dodgers, but not from baseball. Can you really blame him for heading for the door? Late last month, Dodger management dumped Big Time Attendance Draw/Slugger, Manny Ramirez, and pretty much threw in the towel on the season.
Meanwhile team owners, Frank and Jamie McCourt, are ripping each other apart and dragging the team through the mud in a Los Angeles divorce court. No wonder, there’s growing concern about the McCourts handling of the legendary team and its impact not only on the Dodgers, but on all of Major League Baseball!
The new manager, Don Mattingly, takes over next season. Mattingly is probably best known for his 14 years as a first baseman for the Yankees. As a player, he won some awards and racked up some pretty good stats. He’s been a coach for the past seven years — the last three, as the Dodgers’ hitting coach. However, Mattingly has NEVER held a manager’s job. The Los Angeles Times points out that this season Mattingly filled in for Torre a couple of times and the results were not impressive.
At that Dodger Stadium news conference, Mattingly tried to generate some confidence: “I’m excited about this opportunity… I feel like I’m ready.” I hope he is. Mattingly has an incredibly difficult job ahead of him and huge shoes to fill.