Sunday, October 30, 2005
Night Of The Long Knives
- "Let me tell you all you need to know about the Dodger Way, about Dodger tradition", Jon writes, echoing Leon and his "Let me tell you about my mother."
- Blue Think Tank thinks it's a case of the tail wagging the dog, with useless rump Tommy Lasorda blowing smoke up McCourts' posterior. Money quote: "Way to wag the dog,
WormtongueTommy! A return to the Dark Ages of FOX without the stupid money to throw around!"
- Noted jackass T.J. Simers gets Lasorda to comment on reports by Fox's Ken Rosenthal that he, Lasorda, was behind the firing:
"That is the biggest lie; in front of God, it's a stinking, no good lie," Lasorda shouted, and I noticed he shouted a little louder when he saw a TV camera rolling. "He has absolutely no proof of that. I never said anything bad about Paul DePodesta. I have never, ever said a bad word about Paul DePodesta to Frank."
- Lasorda, on the selection process involved in the new GM:
"I've mentioned my selection to Frank, and you'll know as soon as we get a new GM if he was listening to me," Lasorda said with that smug smile he gives when he already knows the answer.
- Steve Henson reports that, for all that the McCourts complained about DePodesta's poor communication skills, they are no better:
DePodesta learned that he would be fired from a reporter Friday. McCourt did not speak to him until Saturday morning, but by the afternoon DePodesta seemed to have come to terms with losing his job. He has three years left on a five-year contract and will be paid about $2.2 million.Paul also has practiced the art of giving the good quote on the way out, something Dan Evans also understood:
"I truly believe that this franchise is poised to begin the next great era of Dodger baseball," DePodesta said. "I have a tremendous amount of affection for the players, staff and front office and I wish everyone the best of luck. Most importantly, I want to thank the fans for their unparalleled support of the team."The key to the next generation of front office leadership? Being a Dodger once upon a time:
Now Hershiser is considered a candidate for a front-office position as well as for manager. A source said Dodger special advisor Tom Lasorda twice met with Hershiser in Texas about a month ago.Because of course Branch Rickey didn't work for anyone else before coming to the Dodgers, no sir...
"He obviously keenly understands what it means to be a Dodger," McCourt said. "We want to restore the glory and we want to achieve greatness. The Dodgers are a special franchise and we want Dodgers here."
DePodesta, despite nearly two years on the Dodger payroll, was an outsider to McCourt, who was perplexed by DePodesta's reclusive nature. A strategic communications firm hired by the Dodgers in spring training became frustrated by DePodesta's seeming indifference to public relations and helped convince McCourt that someone more fan-friendly was necessary.Somebody needs to explain to me why the GM should be responsible for public relations. I thought that was the lookout of the team president...
- David Pinto observes that Lasorda's blog has maintained radio silence on the matter, thus reinforcing my opinion of the (zero) value of same.
- Tommy Lasorda surprisingly comes out against Hershiser as GM:
"Leadership is a very important characteristic," McCourt said. "No question he has to have a keen eye for baseball talent. I want a good communicator and someone with experience to do the job."
Lasorda echoed that list, surprisingly calling Hershiser "not qualified" for the GM position because of his lack of front-office experience. Hershiser spent less than a year as an assistant to Hart in the Rangers' front office before becoming the team's pitching coach.
- Steve Dilbeck of the Daily News is a little more impishly sympathetic:
I want to be hired by the Dodgers.He gloms onto what is now obvious:
This comes from both my boyish desire to join the circus, and keen eye for recognizing a sweet gig.
It's just all so tempting. Get a five-year deal, get fired after a year, maybe two, and then get paid for doing nothing. I can do that.
This means three things: McCourt's most important single advisor now clearly is Lasorda; McCourt's approach is taking a 180-degree turn from a stat guy to traditional baseball people; and the circus will remain in town.
- Speaking of sympathetic, how about the Register's Mark Whicker?
The McCourt Jesters are silly putty for an operator like Lasorda. They know nothing of baseball, but they do know him - "60 years of experience," Frank chortled - and they can't imagine that Lasorda wouldn't have the Dodgers' best interest at heart.
They might check with Fred Claire and Bill Russell, the general manager/manager combo that got zapped in June of 1998.