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Joe Torre is of a mind not to make up his mind

March 22, 2010 | 12:32 pm

Promises, promises …

It’s a good thing there aren’t a lot of decisions to be made this spring with the Dodgers.

Has Joe Torre suddenly had an attack of indecisiveness? Is this an age thing? Just circumstances? Or a case of with so few to make, he might as well play them out?

Whatever the reason, a minor pattern has emerged. Torre said he would name his staring second baseman when he returned from Taiwan. A week later, still no announcement.

He said he would announce his Opening Day starter last week, still no announcement.

Said he was in negotiations to add another year to his contract -- a year ago he said this would be his last season -- but on Monday said he was suspending talks until the end of the season.

Individually, all of them are explainable. Collectively, they're blog heaven.

Now Torre said he’s going  to announce his starter for Opening Day on Thursday. Honest to Bigelow tea.

Torre said today’s split-squad games will affect the rotation’s setup and narrow the focus on the fifth starter.

"I think today is important," Torre said. "You're whittling down pitchers. We'll have a staff meeting on Thursday and start making decisions and lining up guys for what they'll be doing.’’

The only current member of the rotation scheduled to pitch today is Clayton Kershaw, who will face the Brewers in Maryvale.

Two fifth-starter candidates will see action: Rule 5 pick Carlos Monasterios ( (unscored upon in eight innings) will start at Camelback against the Angels, while Russ Ortiz will follow Kershaw against the Brewers.

There certainly is no reason to rush into naming a fifth starter. Torre has rightly said that will come down to the end of the season.

But he puts himself in these spots by making announcements over coming announcements.

Torre said he suspended talks with General Manager Ned Colletti about adding an additional year to his contract because he didn’t want it to become a distraction. His $13-million contract expires at the end of the season.

Hard to believe his contract is a distraction to the players, particularly with heir apparent Don Mattingly on standby. More likely, he just doesn’t want the distraction.

Of course, this is what he said Monday. Stay tuned.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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