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The day after: Joe Torre talks to players following Wednesday meltdown, but no one is benched

The lineup was posted later than normally Thursday, and there were changes, just not the dramatic kind that might have been suspected after Wednesday’s incredible ninth-inning meltdown.

The day after, nobody was benched. There were no fresh incriminations, no new signs of frustration.

Matt Kemp and Russell Martin were both inexcusably picked off second base Wednesday, lapses that had the normally mild-mannered Joe Torre fuming after the game. He held a brief postgame clubhouse meeting, and several witnesses described him as uncharacteristically angry.

"He was mad," said one. "And he doesn’t get mad very often."

When the lineup was finally posted Thursday, Kemp and Martin were both in it, as was Reed Johnson, the runner who had let up enough as he approached home that he couldn’t touch the plate with the tying run before Martin was called out.

Still, there were subtle changes.

Jamey Carroll started at second base against Angels left-hander Scott Kazmir and was in the No.2 spot in the lineup for only the second time this season.

Andre Ethier, who hit second Wednesday with the return of Rafael Furcal in the leadoff spot, was back in the three spot, followed by the usual suspects. Johnson hit ninth.

"Carroll’s had some success off Kazmir," Torre said. "It’s just trying to fiddle with it, is all it is.

"If I give you a good reason why I’m doing this today, then why the hell didn’t I do it yesterday? We’re just trying to fiddle with it. It’s our last day of DH, so we’re going to try and make it as long and profitable as we can. Hopefully it works."

Carroll entered the game 4-for-7 lifetime against Kazmir.

Torre was calm Thursday, trying to put Wednesday’s debacle behind him and his team.

"We have to move forward," he said. "You have to be able to deal with stuff you can’t change. It was one we let get away, but you turn the page. We have work to do today."

Martin had a long private conversation with third-base coach Larry Bowa in the dugout prior to Thursday’s game.

--Steve Dilbeck
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Hey guess what? the pep talk worked,,, I guess Joe's still got it huh?
once they can get by Boston, the Dodgers are a lock for the World Series now.

I hope the discussion with Bowa went something like....Listen Russ, a below average defensive catcher hitting .250 can't afford to play like it was his first day on a little league team. Would you like your new destination to be Kansas City or Pittsburg?

Base running blunders that only t-ball kids do at the age of 6. Get with it Dodgers!

The way Torre has handled this latest debacle is really disappointing. Not benching players when making little league mistakes in meaningless situations is understandable, but when the mistakes cost us leads or a chance at winning a game or god forbid happen repeatedly and lead directly to a loss in the 9th inning the team needs more than a stern talking to. Wed. night and the way it is being handled in the clubhouse show once again that Torre is not old-school he is just old. Alston would have benched half the team. Lasorda would have exploded after the game and had someone out of the pen starting the next game certain that his stuff was every bit as good as Cy Young. The modern therapeutic hand holding message being sent is "don't worry little guy, you'll be a man some day". Torre's saavy and manipulation of the rulebook has won us a few games the last couple of years but any good bench coach good do the same thing. His mishandling of the roster only gets worse. Really miss Tracy and his focus on defense and baserunning.


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