Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Joe Torre and Frank McCourt —
Until The First Losing Season
Torre As PanaceaThere's something about managerial changes that makes a lot of people lose their perspective on things. I don't expect much (anything, really) from Bill Plaschke — anyone who could pen Tommy Lasorda's hagiography leaves me questioning their sanity — so the clear, bright line for sportswriters is whether they understand this patently obvious fact. Mike Waldner in the Daily Breeze does:
The McCourt mantra is reconnecting with the tradition of the team.Bill Shaikin of the Times gets it, too:
Here, finally, they have hired someone who is up to and understands the task. Plus, he's won four World Series rings.
Except. Except? Except Torre is overrated. Overrated?
Definitely. As he himself knows better than anyone, he does not walk on water. He's not going to wave a fungo bat and suddenly the Dodgers will find themselves in the World Series. The young players need to grow. The roster should be tweaked.
It is just shy of four years since she and her husband, Frank, bought the Dodgers. The skepticism has yet to abate.Though I do have to wonder about his suggestion that the McCourts hire Ducks GM Brian Burke, among others, as a new CEO. That's ... bizarre.
No one can question the McCourts' passion for Los Angeles, for the Dodgers, for victory. But they're still learning on the job, on their own, preferring to run the organization themselves than entrust it to an experienced sports executive.
So, on what should have been a glorious day for the Dodgers, too many questions revolved around credibility. The Dodgers employed one manager, Grady Little, while they searched for another: What did Torre know, and when did he know it? What about Ned Colletti, the general manager? What about the McCourts?
This is not the first time credibility issues have overshadowed personnel decisions. The McCourts inherited Dan Evans as general manager and said they would consider retaining him, followed minutes later by Jamie McCourt telling the Daily News, "When we get a GM . . . "
Dodgers VP Marty Greenspun ResignsNo replacement named, and with a 12:40 AM dateline, too. Speaking of weird...
- The Indians picked up their 2008 option on Paul Byrd, worth $8M.
- Curt Schilling and the Red Sox will be back together in 2008, taking one of the higher-visibility free agent pitchers off the market. Schilling says "it's looking good" on his blog. The Boston Herald reports the deal to be worth $13M for one year.
- According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Jose Guillen bought $19,000 worth of steroids from May 2002 through June 2005, which would have covered his time on the Angels. He previously denied taking steroids in an ESPN The Magazine story back in February.
- " In surveying a handful of GMs, the prevailing opinion is that the Rockies will explore moving setup man Brian Fuentes for a starting pitcher," writes Troy E. Renck in the Denver Post.