• Torre’s Ugly Rebound Gig

    Posted by on October 30th, 2007 · Comments (7)

    Today, around 5:30 pm ET, I was listening to WFAN (660 AM in NYC), while Mike Francesa and Mad Dog Russo ridiculed Brian Cashman for having extremely long and rambling answers to questions from the media – during the Yankees’ conference call regarding their announcement that they hired Joe Girardi. While Mike & Mad Dog had a somewhat valid point, I thought it was excessive the way they kept beating the point to death. But, on the whole, from what I heard, from the call, it seemed like the Yankees and the media did a decent job of manning their sides and doing it in a professional manner.

    Later this evening, I was watching ESPN News when they broke into the Los Angeles Dodgers’ conference call regarding their announcement that Grady Little had “resigned.” This call was a train wreck. The media on the call went after Dodgers’ G.M. Ned Colletti like hungry pit bulls. And, Colletti seemed as comfortable as an embezzler being interviewed on “60 Minutes.” Plus, I’ve seen dung fights in the monkey cage at the zoo that were better organized than this call. At one point, someone on the call had WFAN on in the background, and you clearly heard Steve Somers lamenting about the Mets – while people on the call kept asking for someone to “please turn off the radio.”

    Needless to say, it was easy to notice a contrast between these two conference calls.

    Now, I see that (according to George King) Joe Torre has agreed in principle to a three-year contract worth $14.5 million to manage the Dodgers (and that Don Mattingly and Larry Bowa may join him there).

    When you think about how the Dodgers handled the whole Grady Little situation, in general, and then factor in how poorly they handled something as simple as a conference call with the media, it seems like the nightmare stories that you hear about the way (Dodgers owner) Frank McCourt handles team affairs there may just be near 100% true.

    Good luck in L.A., Joe. I think you’re going to need it.

    Comments on Torre’s Ugly Rebound Gig

    1. baileywalk
      October 31st, 2007 | 1:27 am

      At one point, someone on the call had WFAN on in the background, and you clearly heard Steve Somers lamenting about the Mets – while people on the call kept asking for someone to “please turn off the radio.”

      Steve, that really made me laugh.

      But my reaction to this whole thing is — meh, I’d gladly take a good team full of talented young players, with a stocked farm system to draw from, and worry about their p.r. ability and “togetherness” later.

      Their front office might have its issue — I don’t know — but it’s a very good team he is inheriting. (First he won with Buck’s players, now he will win with Little’s players — ha, ha, ha — just kidding, RICH.) Like I said, it comes with plenty of good young hitters and its farm system is among the best in baseball. It also has a great setup man and closer.

      They need another starting pitcher (how about Schilling for one year back in the NL?), but this is a team that will compete and maybe win.

    2. October 31st, 2007 | 9:53 am

      I personally am a little surprised Torre is taking another job, if I were him I’d definitely take some time off after dealing with the craziness that is NY baseball for so long.

    3. Inconnu
      October 31st, 2007 | 9:55 am

      So where exactly is the “Class” that Torre is so famous for? He just pushed Little into resigning.

      But does the media call him on it? Of course not, Teflon Joe just changed coasts.

    4. JohnnyC
      October 31st, 2007 | 11:31 am

      Steve, I agree, this could be a train wreck of enormous proportions. The Dodger front office is a mess and the one strength that they possessed, a deep and fertile farm system, was severely underutilized and misused by Little, especially in 2007. Ergo, Little, after receiving a 2 year extension in mid-season is asked to resign. But, in what universe do the Dodgers live in that they believe Torre is the anecdote for what ails them? Tim Kurkjian, normally a reasonable fellow, feels it’s a great match for the Dodgers’ clubhouse of veterans. Veterans? What, Nomar and Juan Pierre are a championship nucleus? Torre, as we’ve all seen, is anathema to young talent unless its absolutely foisted on him. Given a choice he likes to play veterans with that Belly Full of Guts dimension. And, unfortunately for the Dodgers, he will be given his choices ($14.5 million says so). Colletti will be hard-pressed to fashion Joba-like rules for Mr. Four Rings. I mean, that’d be an insult.

    5. JohnnyC
      October 31st, 2007 | 11:36 am

      And I feel awful for Mattingly. Taking this job will effectively end his prospects for ever managing a major league team. If Torre gets axed well before his 3 years is up (likely), Larry Bowa, not Donnie, will be the interim and longterm replacement. Donnie will again have a choice…stay on as Bowa’s hitting coach or leave along with Torre. At which point, I don’t think there’ll much call for Donnie to be Torre’s bench coach in Maui. He should have taken the managing job at Scranton. I’m sure the Yankees would have given him the assignment if he wanted it.

    6. Raf
      October 31st, 2007 | 1:15 pm

      wow… just wow.

      when i return to the States, I have a lot of news to catch up on…

    7. Exit9
      October 31st, 2007 | 8:54 pm

      I have a lot of respect for the job Joe did while in pinstripes, but if he was so full of class, then he should have kept his insulted feelings to himself instead of shouting foul to the press. He could have said his piece in Tampa, and then turned around to the press and said he’d had a great run in NY and thank you very much, and good luck to the Yankees. Instead he burned the bridge, turned in the pinstripes for Dodger Blue (second worst in my mind to the Sox) and left all his precious old time players with a foul taste, attempting to make himself look good and the Yankees bad. That’s a shame. I look forward to the other Joe taking over. Before the ink is dry on Torre’s contract, Scott Proctor will be up in the bullpen.

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