In his first year out of a major league uniform since 1989, Joe Torre is finally able to plan his own schedule. He can commute between Los Angeles and New York, his two most recent stops in a 29-year managerial career with five teams, watch tons of games on TV and spend time with family and friends.
Major League Baseball is expected to announce tomorrow that longtime player and manager Joe Torre will be appointed to a major role in the commissioner's office as the executive vice president for baseball operations.
It's résumé season for managing hopefuls. Three new openings were created on D-Day Monday with the firings of the Mets' Jerry Manuel, the Brewers' Ken Macha and the Pirates' John Russell. The Braves' Bobby Cox is retiring, as is the Blue Jays' Cito Gaston. Three teams -- the Cubs, Marlins and Mariners -- have interim managers. And according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, legendary Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is driving cross-country deciding whether to return to St. Louis. So this promises to be one of the most interesting managerial offseasons ever. With that in mind, here are a few folks who could pop up on one or more lists, from the most famous to the more obscure.
LOS ANGELES --- One final shred of dignity was peeled from the Dodger facade Friday night, Joe Torre announcing that he would not return to manage the team next season, and Frank McCourt claiming that the decision had nothing to do with him. They sat across from each other at the press conference, an employee who restored credibility to the franchise, and a boss who stripped it away. McCourt thanked Torre for his service --- specifically, consecutive division titles and NLCS berths --- but his gratitude should have extended much farther. Torre did for McCourt what his legion of image makers and PR consultants could not: he put a respectable face on a sullied franchise, and now, that face is gone. McCourt no longer has Torre to play front man. He sits alone atop the Dodger brand, along with his wife Jamie, the couple from Boston who bought the club on borrowed money, used it to borrow more money, and are fighting over it in one of the most expensive divorces in California history. The
SI.com spoke with Sports Illustrated senior writer Tom Verducci on Friday afternoon to discuss news of Joe Torre's retirement as Dodgers manager. Torre and Verducci collaborated on two books, Chasing the Dream and The Yankee Years.
Don Mattingly will replace Joe Torre as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers at season's end, SI.com has confirmed.
ANAHEIM -- Before this season began, the Dodgers purchased space on approximately 300 billboards around Los Angeles, advertising their inter-league series against the Yankees under the slogan: "Rivalry Renewed." It was to be New York vs. L.A., East Coast vs. West, a reprise of World Series past. But for all practical purposes, it is Joe Torre vs. Joe Torre and nothing more, the team he manages against the team he will always be known for managing. The only conflict is the one inside of him.
When the Yankees face the Dodgers tonight at Dodger Stadium it will be the first time that Joe Torre will manage against his former team since parting ways with the Yankees after the 2007 playoffs. Torre managed the Yankees for 12 seasons, reaching the postseason every year, winning 10 division titles, six pennants, four World Series, and punching his own ticket for the Hall of Fame. Only Joe McCarthy helmed more games for the Yankees than Torre, only McCarthy won more games as Yankee manager, and only McCarthy and Casey Stengel, both Hall of Famers, had higher winning percentages (minimum three full seasons) or won more pennants or World Series as Yankee skipper. Here, then, is a look back at Joe Torre's tenure as Yankee manager via 10 of his signature moments with the team.
Umpire Joe West is nicknamed "Cowboy" because he performs country songs and has sung with Merle Haggard, Johnny Lee and Mickey Gilley when he isn't on a baseball diamond. It might also be because he isn't from the city. But it's not because he has the biggest mouth in the entire United States, as some might now suspect.
PHILADELPHIA -- When the NLCS was over, and the Dodgers were done again, eliminated just like the year before in five games by the Phillies, iconic Dodgers manager Joe Torre gathered his mostly young troops together, and he spoke of progress. It seems like a tough sell job, with the result from one year to the next being exactly the same. But Torre could sell parkas in L.A.
PHILADELPHIA -- Wherever Joe Torre went when his team arrived at Citizen's Bank Park on Saturday, he saw it. When he went to the weight room, it was on the treadmill. When he went to his office, it was cued up on the television on his desk. If Torre had successfully blocked out his Yankees' 2004 American League Championship Series collapse to the Red Sox, Dodgers first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, a first baseman on that Boston team, made sure he was reminded of it when the team got to Philadelphia. At the time, it was meant as playful payback for Torre recently watching Aaron Boone's home run that beat the Red Sox in 2003, but now it serves as a potent, if somewhat unpleasant, reminder that compared to Torre's situation in '04, the Dodgers are in a relatively comfortable 3-games-to-1 hole to the Phillies in this season's NLCS.
PHILADELPHIA -- The Dodgers' decision to start Hiroki Kuroda was an understandable gamble that just didn't work, and manager Joe Torre wouldn't second-guess that call after Kuroda blew up early in their 11-0 defeat to the Phillies in Game 3. Kuroda may not get a second shot to start in this series, but that's OK. The Dodgers have several starters of similar ability, so Torre has a chance to tap a different one if they get to Game 7.
Yesterday, I took a look at the heroes and goats from this year's Division Series. In doing so, I limited my list of goats to players from the four teams eliminated in the LDS. Given that the four advancing teams lost a combined total of one game in the first round, there were no real goats to speak of on the Angles, Yankees, Phillies and Dodgers, but there were plenty of players who failed to perform up to their usual standard. Given the increased level of competition and the longer, best-of-seven series, these are the players that the League Championship Series participants will need to have step up if they are going to take their respective leagues' pennants.
LOS ANGELES -- His offense left 16 men on base and went 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position. His defense gave up a gift run by allowing a fly ball to drop between two fielders. His starting pitcher couldn't even give him four innings and yet Joe Torre was all smiles on Wednesday night. The reason, of course, was that -- despite all their bungling that was more befitting of the team that nearly choked away all of their NL West lead rather than the team that rampaged to the best record in the league -- his team won the game. To be sure, these were not the artful Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Division Series, but they were the victorious Dodgers, and in so doing they have changed more than a few minds about how the rest of this series will play out.
Welcome to the postseason, where baseball hardly resembles what has been played for six months to get here. Runs are harder to come by, but not off days. Pitching is more important than ever, but paradoxically you need less of it. Here is the 2008 postseason in a nutshell: The Phillies played 13 games in 27 days while starting Cole Hamels five times in the 11 games they won to win the world championship. That's nothing like the regular season.
It's time now to start dreaming about the best possible World Series matchups. Here are my favorites for this year.
The power is still out in major league baseball. While last year's home run decrease drew headlines, this year's has gone largely unnoticed. The rate of homers per game this season (1.03) and per at-bat (one every 33.33 ABs) is higher than each of the last two years, but still trails by a wide margin the numbers from the first part of this decade. In 2000 there were 1.17 home runs per game and a longball every 29.39 at-bats. In fact, the last three seasons rank at the bottom of the decade's standings in both categories. (Part of this, though it's unclear how much, is certainly due to MLB implementing a steroid-testing program for the 2004 season.)
Los Angeles Dodgers baseball manager Joe Torre's new book about his old club has been burning up best-seller lists even before it hits stores.
CNN's Larry King sits down with Joe Torre and talks about his controversial new book "The Yankee Years."
The frozen hot stove saw some sparks in New York last weekend, when the Daily News and the Post leaked snippets of The Yankee Years, Joe Torre's forthcoming book about his 12 seasons in the Bronx.
SI.com spoke with Sports Illustrated senior writer Tom Verducci on Sunday about his soon-to-be released new book, co-authored with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre, called The Yankee Years. The book is published by Doubleday and will be released on Feb. 3.
In the final week of spring training, when Joe Torre was still getting used to his new shade of blue, he looked out over the field at Angel Stadium before an exhibition game and was reminded why he wanted to be a manager in the first place. Scattered around the field were about half-a-dozen players under the age of 25, either taking batting practice, fielding ground balls or shagging flies. "It's the fun part," Torre said. "It's watching young talent develop and grow. It's looking in the eyes of young players and sensing when they reach the point that they come to the ballpark knowing what to expect, what to do."
LOS ANGELES -- If you're looking for that one moment the Dodgers turned their season around. That one trade, that one signing that one managerial decision that transformed this bunch from playoff outsiders to the first team to advance to the Championship Series you won't find it.
The Cubs come into the postseason with a team that makes for a study in contrasts when it comes to its assets: a broad and deep collection of hitters to attack the other team's pitchers, balanced against a stars-and-scrubs pitching staff that runs perhaps no more than six men deep before trouble arises.
We all knew -- all of us who were paying the least bit of attention, anyway -- that Kosuke Fukudome was not going to be your run-of-the-mill rookie. With a .317 average, a .442 on-base percentage, several clutch hits and a cult following already among Cubs' fans, he hasn't disappointed. The same can be said for Reds' phenom Johnny Cueto, who opened eyes in the spring and has 29 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings. The kid can chuck it.
After five weeks honing pickoff plays, relay throws and bunt coverages, Dodgers first baseman James Loney and shortstop Chin-Lung Hu attended to one final piece of spring training business. Standing face-to-face on the infield last Thursday in the twilight before an exhibition game against the Angels, the 23-year-old first baseman from Texas and the 24-year-old shortstop from Taiwan choreographed the celebratory handshake they plan to employ for the next seven months, an elaborate blur of fist bumps, chest thumps and hand slaps that would make even Jose Reyes and David Wright take notice. When Loney and Hu were satisfied with their timing, the season could begin.
Four Sports Illustrated writers will offer their perspectives on Opening Day games from around the country, featuring commentary and analysis. First up are the Yankees and Blue Jays in New York, followed by the Nationals and Phillies at 3:05 p.m., Mets and Marlins at 4:10 p.m. and Giants versus Dodgers at 4:10 p.m. Stay tuned to SI.com throughout the day for continuous updates.
It is possible to bring a classy professional sports reputation to New York, to accept a job (and the lavish paycheck that comes with it) from an utterly unpredictable and occasionally irrational employer, to be successful by all team and individual standards despite the boss' many flaws and meddlings, and to emerge years later more or less unscathed.
This spring SI.com senior writer John Donovan is touring the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues to cover baseball's biggest newsmakers. Today he reports from Dodgers camp in Vero Beach, Fla. Next stop: Indians camp in Winter Haven, Fla., on Tuesday.
VERO BEACH, Fla. -- In the fall of 1995, Joe Torre called his brother-in-law with the big news. After being fired by the Mets, the Braves and finally the Cardinals, Torre was getting a chance to manage again. His brother-in-law, a passionate baseball fan from Cincinnati named Gary Even, would be thrilled. "Hey Gary," Torre said. "I got a job."
With full squads stretching and groaning their way into semi-action for the first time this week, let's concentrate on what's worth watching for the next month and a half. These next six weeks can make -- or at least not break -- a whole lot of major-league teams.
Sports Illustrated will announce its choice for Sportsman of the Year on Dec. 3. Here's one of the nominations for that honor by an SI writer. For more essays, click here.
Whether your regard for new Dodger manager Joe Torre elevates him to sainthood or renders him a commoner, know that his arrival in Los Angeles doesn't end the tug-o-war fundamental to the Dodger organization in 2007.
LOS ANGELES -- Joe Torre is leaning back on a swiveling chair in a quaint boardroom tucked away in the Club Level of Dodger Stadium. As he takes off his blue Dodgers hat and places it on the wooden table in front of him, he looks down at the Dodgers uniform he's wearing over his light blue shirt and tie and smiles.
Also in this column: • Three teams rising in A-Rod derby • Rockies won't trade Atkins • Torre building his coaching staff • More news and notes
Joe Torre and the Los Angeles Dodgers are said to be "getting closer'' to a deal for Torre to become manager of the storied West Coast team that, like Torre, had its roots in Brooklyn.
Never has a man been so fortunate to lose his job. Joe Torre is everybody's hero now, laughing it up with David Letterman, getting pats on the back from the public and press for turning down the New York Yankees' so-called insulting one-year offer of $5 million plus incentives and now, apparently, on his way to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who dumped a good man and a perfectly good manager, Grady Little, in order give him the job. (Little may have officially resigned, but there's no doubt he could read the handwriting on the wall.) George Steinbrenner's son Hank says Torre ought to thank The Boss for hiring him 12 years ago. He ought to be even more grateful that the Steinbrenners essentially fired him now.
Joe Girardi, rebuffing last-minute attempts by the Dodgers to become their manager, has agreed to succeed Joe Torre as Yankees manager.
(SI.com) -- Joe Torre, who left the New York Yankees last week after 12 seasons, will become the new manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to a published report.
Also in this column: • Torre's 'insulting' incentive package • Cashman was his 'one ally' • Byrd not fooling anybody • More news and notes
Joe Torre's next job could have been World Series analyst.
When he was robust and running the New York Yankees, George Steinbrenner never minded a little blood on his hands. He swung his firing axe decisively and often. I was there in Chicago at old Comiskey Park when Dale Berra cried into his dirty sanitary sock when Steinbrenner fired his father, Yogi, only 16 games into the 1985 season. Steinbrenner was rash, but he took the heat for it.
Is Joe Torre's next job behind a microphone? It's a very likely destination for the now former Yankees manager.
The New York Yankees did the right thing by offering Joe Torre a fair contract that would have kept him the highest-paid manager in the game. And Torre did the right thing by rejecting the offer.
Joe Torre is done as Yankees manager after he rejected their one-year offer to remain with the club, ending his legendary 12-year reign in the Bronx.
Joe Torre turned down a deal to return as Yankees manager for a 13th season on Thursday.
Top Yankees decision-makers are believed to have discussed different scenarios under which Joe Torre could possibly return for a 13th season when they gathered again Wednesday in Tampa, Fla., perhaps signaling a softening in the tough stance club owner George Steinbrenner enunciated regarding Torre in his rare interview 11 days ago.
Some Yankees decision-makers have been paying close attention to the reaction of players and fans, and a few people close to the situation are actually beginning to wonder whether Joe Torre is as gone as Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said he would be.
Yankee manager Joe Torre is going to have to wait a few more days before learning his fate, perhaps even through the weekend.
NEW YORK -- In his first 20 years as principal owner of the New York Yankees, George Steinbrenner hired and fired 21 managers, including Billy Martin five times. That Joe Torre has remained skipper for 12 full seasons under The Boss is an anomaly, a feat almost as remarkable as Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak.
More news and notes • Charlie's bad call costs Phillies • Nice touch by the Rockies • Why Jocketty is out in St. Louis • More news and notes
Also in this column: • Brewers call up a stud • Sheffield's latest rant • More news and notes
A Yankees starter climbed the mound in Texas on Thursday -- two of them, in fact -- and didn't pop, strain, twist or break anything. The Yanks, not coincidentally, won their second and third straight games. Their closer, a recent source of concern to some, easily nailed down both ends of the doubleheader. Joe Torre was seen to have smiled.
Also in this column: • Boston's other Japanese star • Bad news for Torre • Dolan-Yankees update • More news and notes
NEW YORK -- If George Steinbrenner decides to blame Joe Torre for the Yankees' awful start and fire him, Steinbrenner's first choice to replace Torre would be Don Mattingly, SI.com has learned.
Also in this column: • Torre and Donnie Baseball • Tejada ready for big year • Beckett's big problem • More news and notes
Baseball is, in many ways, management theory in action. Winning teams know how to manage operations, people, and change--areas that are vital to the success of any organization. Jeff Angus, a baseb...
Think your job is tough? New York Yankees manager Joe Torre has to motivate and build teams from a bunch of high-paid, high-strung superstars, constantly meet outsized market expectations, and sati...
Joe Torre began the 2001 baseball season the same way he finished the 2000 baseball season: with tears in his eyes. Last year they spilled forth in the dugout after the Yankees clinched their third...