Dodgers Add A True Yankee

Joe Torre is the new Dodger manager, and quite honestly, I couldn't care less. I never had a problem with Grady Little. Did he have issues? Of course, Juan Pierre saw too much play and his efforts to balance out the playtime of veterans and young players resulted in too many at bats for some less than useful players. Still, it's unrealistic to expect a manager to do everything that I want to, and the only player under his tenure that got a truly raw deal is Andy LaRoche, so I can't really complain.

Torre comes with his own set of issues. His bullpen management is so incompetent that he needed a well publicized set of rules to keep him from killing Joba Chamberlain. I wouldn't be surprised if Jonathan Broxton and Scott Proctor combined for 200 innings next season. He also seems be disposed to Jim Tracy like bizarre alliances. In the past, he's resorted to doing things like putting Miguel Cairo at first and Tony Womack in left in order to keep them in the lineup. He's stuck with Andy Phillips as his backup at first the last two years despite his career line of .253/.294/.384 while he had better options like Josh Phelps available. The Yankees were tied for second in the AL in bunts this year despite having by far the most potent offense in the game. Tactically, Torre seems no better, if not quite a bit worse, than Grady.

Torre's other big disadvantage that he comes at a much higher price than Grady. Little was one of the cheapest managers in baseball last year, making only 650 thousand dollars. Torre is going to run the Dodgers four million dollars a year.  This puts the Dodgers payroll at approximately 100 million dollars right now, before any big free agents could be signed. If A-Rod is going to make 30 million dollars a year, it would either require by far the biggest payroll the Dodgers have ever entered a season with, or some severe backloading to acquire him.

Torre's supposed advantage is his ability to handle a clubhouse, but I doubt we'll ever be able to see it. Media folks would likely attribute any improvement to Torre, but that's more likely to come from full seasons of Kemp, Loney, and Billingsley, as well as not underperforming their third order record by five games. Any improvement that Torre brings to this club is something that I would never be able to detect, so I'll never really be able to pass judgment.

As you can probably tell, this move doesn't excite me in the least, since Torre brings absolutely zero guarantee he'll be better than Grady. Hopefully now that this drama is over, we can focus on who will actually be playing the games.

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