Joe Torre to Dodgers? UPDATED

On October 30, 2007, in General, by Neil Stevens

Sports Illustrated brings us a report from the White Plains, N.Y. Journal News that by Tuesday, the Dodgers will fire Grady Little and hire Joe Torre.

UPDATE: It’s official. Grady Little quit today. Halfway there…

I have to think this is a smart move for the Dodgers to consider. This team collapsed several times this season, once dropping from first to fourth, and then from second in the Wild Card to completely out of contention. It’s only how truly bad the Giants were this year that kept the Dodgers from sniffing last place during the bad runs. And when a team is this inconsistent, I have to wonder what’s going on with the guys in charge.

Grady Little and Tom Lasorda

The real deal and the wanna-be?

I’ll elaborate on just how bad these runs were, because as a fan they stick with me. On May 30, behind Derek Lowe the Dodgers defeated the Washington Nationals 5-0 and held first place with a 31-21 record. They then lost 7 of 11, ending up on June 10 at 35-28 in third place.

All was not lost though. The team bounced back and re-took first. On July 16 the Dodgers pounded Jamie Moyer for 10 runs in 5 and a third innings, taking all the pressure off of Brad Penny to beat the Phillies 10-3 to take a 53-40 record. After that though, hang on to your hat: the Dodgers were outscored in their next three games 31-17 (losing two), and in all lost 15 of 20, with the final loss (0-1 at the Reds) dropping the team to a 58-55 record, 4.5 games out and in fourth place.

But no that wasn’t even the end. There was still the Wild Card, which was pretty wide open on September 15 when the Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-2, again behind Lowe. And having cut their divisional deficit in half in the last week, even the division wasn’t lost. But when you only win three of your final 14 games, and two of those wins come against the Giants in the season’s final, meaningless series, it doesn’t help anything.

A baseball season is a long, hard grind, suiting up every day against some of the best athletes in the world. The players need leadership to help keep them focused and motivated. Clearly Grady Little and his staff have not kept the Dodgers’ heads in the game this year.

If this team is not capable of action, I suggest new leadership is needed. I move for a vote of no confidence in Manager Little. Bring on the guy from the Evil Empire if you please.


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