About an hour after I post the below, Grady Little announced that he was resigning as manager of the Dodgers for "personal reasons." I'll examine this a little more closely tomorrow.
In the last couple of days one thing has become crystal clear, Grady Little will not be the manager of the Dodgers next year. The rumors of Joe Girardi getting the job if he didn't get the Yankeee job have been replaced with the Joe Torre will become the manager of the Dodgers.
If Grady Little's job was really safe one would assume that the Dodgers GM and PR department would have put the kibosh to these rumors early, quickly, and firmly. Since none of that has happened we can read between the lines and see that Grady's tenure is all but officially over.
Joe Torre may be a great manager, but he's 68 and I would rather see the Dodgers move in a direction of stability with a younger guy who will be around a long time (we do pine for the days of Walter Alston followed by Tommy Lasorda). I think Ron Roenicke would be a much better place to look. Torre's [mis]handling of pitchers and bullpens has been widely reported and commented on, but that may be a bit overdone. A good pitching coach should be handle that aspect of Torre's weakness.
The question is what direction this signals for the Dodgers; a commitment to youth where Jeff Kent is dealt away (preferably to a last place team in the American League) and Nomar is told he is a back up utility player, period; or will the Dodgers fall into the trap of wanting to have "proven veterans" making up too large a percentage of the lineup? The Dodgers have several all-star calibre young players now, who should be playing everyday. They have an excellent bullpen (that simply got overworked last year). Their weakness is the starting rotation, mainly the four and five spots.
Last season clearly imploded for the Dodgers and Little was unable to keep everyone together and going in the same direction. His failure to put out the best lineup everyday was a result of his trying to keep people happy. In the end, he failed to do either. He was hamstrung with bad signings by Ned Colletti (especially at the end of the season); but Little will pay the price, or better, he already has.Posted by Narnia3 at October 30, 2007 3:59 PM | TrackBack