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Dodgers' elimination brings end to Joe Torre having managed a team into playoffs 14 consecutive years

It wasn’t like he couldn’t see it coming. There was no surprise involved, no real room for melancholy.

But when the Dodgers were eliminated from playoff contention Tuesday, it snapped Joe Torre’s streak of having managed a team into the postseason for 14 consecutive years.

Torre ends tied with Bobby Cox (1991-2005) for the all-time major-league record.

"That’s pretty good company," Torre said.

Both managers, of course, are retiring after this season. Anyway, we’re pretty sure Torre is retiring.

Torre managed the Yankees to 12 consecutive postseason appearances, and the Dodgers to the last two.

"This year was very trying, it was frustrating," Torre said. "You know something like that is going to have to come to an end at some point. And unfortunately it was now."

The Dodgers were 49-39 at the All-Star break and only two games back of the Padres in the National League West.

But the Dodgers have gone 24-39 since the break.

Torre said the first thing he will think of when he looks back on the season is simply how puzzling it was.

"Just the head-scratching," he said.  "I think we were 12, 13 games over at one point this year [36-24]. It looked like we got through the question marks about how good our pitching could be.

"I must admit, though, when we left [spring training], I said, 'We’ll score runs.' And that certainly hasn’t been the case. The first half, we were up in the first four or five in the league in scoring runs. It just hit a wall."

-- Steve Dilbeck

Comments () | Archives (14)

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The best term I can come up with to describe this team. Brittle, physically and emotionally.

Money, Kemp, Ethier, Furcal, Torre, all damaged goods. Bills seemed to pull it together, but his grit wasn't really tested under post-season pressure.

From Money's "I'm not coming back" in February, to Torre's "I'm not coming back," in September, just a lot of "quit" from wire to wire.

And after it hit a wall, the hitting coach got rewarded with a promotion.

I would like to know who awoke Joe from his nightly nap on the bench to tell him his streak had ended.

Thanks for lowering the bar for me Joe!

Let me remind all of you Mattingly detractors that he turned down two or three offers last winter to manage elsewhere. He was also the peoples' choice back in NY when Torre left the Yanks. When he saw that the Hank Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman wanted Joe Girardi instead, he came west with Torre because he was promised the Dodger job when Torre stepped down. Nobody seemed to have a problem with Donnie until this season. I'm sure he did everything he could to help these rockheads, but couldn't overcome their dependence on Manny being in the line up and Rhianna being at home. Loney even admitted the the team didn't play as hard as the others. You wanna blame that on him?
As for managerial experience, let's talk about Bob Brenly, who came down from the broadcasting booth to guide the D-Backs to the 2001 World Championship. Or how about Ozzie Guillen? He had only three years as a major league coach (less coaching experience than Mattingly) and NO managerial experience, at any level, like Mattingly, but he was the manager of the 2005 World Series champs.
So give it a rest.

Torre is a crap manager and just lucked out with the situation with the Yankees. He has no fire whatsoever and is so uninspirational. Basically, Grady Little 2.0

With all due respect '58, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Whether Mattingly had offers to manage or offers to interview are two different things. And what seems to irk people the most is: (1)that Mattingly was chosen without any kind of interview process; (2) he has no experience; and (3) if he can't wake up the hitting, how can he wake up the team? What if Scioscia magically became available and wanted to come back to the Dodgers? It would have been impossible because the contract was already signed. Just plain silly to do what Ned and Dodgers did for Don. As for Brenly and Guillen, they're entirely different people from Don. They're both fiery type of guys that lead by pure fire and enthusiasm. Don is not that way and it will take time for him to find the right way (for him) to lead and inspire a team. Should he be learning it at the major league level for the Dodgers? IMHO, no.

58 - I feel what myself and fellow detractors fear from Mattingly is that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. "Learning" from watching Uncle Joe these last few years is more than a frightening thought. That, and I don't care if Mattingly manages the Dodgers for 20 years, he'll ALWAYS be a Yankee.
Red Sox owner. Giant GM. Yankee manager. - Dodger tradition at its finest.

The manager doesn't play the game, but the players do. Every team will win one third of their games, and lose one third of their games. It is what they do with the last third that makes a champion. For that one third, I would rather have Ozzie Guillen's profane bluntness, or Kirk Gibson's competitive fire, than Don Mattingly's recycled Joe Torre approach. But since we have Mattingly, team chemistry had better be addressed, and those who won't run, hustle or sacrifice on a daily basis had better be shown the door, as it won't be Mattingly who will change their work habits and commitment.

Mattingly is a Yankee, and you can end the conversation there. But if he’s the Dodgers manager, I'll hope he figures it out and succeeds.

But decide for yourself. Dodgers PR says team responded after he joined team after all-star break in 2008 by hitting .279 in the second half with a .350 on-base percentage. True enough. But he was there for less than a month before Manny arrived. LA finished year hitting .264 (5th in NL) with 1,455 hits (6th), 137 HR (13th) and .333 on-base percentage (6th). In Aug-Sept-Oct combined (Manny’s time, when all others improved in part because of his lineup presence) they hit .281 with 526 hits, 63 HR. That’s nearly 20 points of batting average and nearly half the team’s HRs when Manny is playing. I don’t think that was Donnie’s impact.

Credit for Donnie’s hitters doing well in 2009, hitting .270 (1st), with 1,511 hits (1st), 145 HR (11th) and an on-base percentage of .346 (1st).

In 2010, the Dodgers are hitting .254 (11th), with 1,290 hits (11th), 110 HR (15th) and a .323 on-base percentage (9th).

Dodgers PR also touts Donnie’s time as Yankees’ hitting coach, noting 2006 (led majors with 930 runs, .363 on-base percentage, 902 RBI) and 2004 (first year coaching hitters, franchise record 242 HR).

You can spin stats, but I take these and believe that he looks good as a hitting coach when he has the horses. Most folks always do. See Torre, Joe. Those Yankees lineups were loaded and well paid. The Dodgers in 2008, according to an LAT story, were a faceless franchise that couldn’t hit when Manny arrived – which I agree with. Manny had more impact on 2008 than Donnie. Donnie can have some credit for 2009, they hit all season, but the chips were down in 2010 – team couldn’t hit a lick and Donnie never fixed it. He didn’t have the horses. And the playoffs will commence without the Dodgers. For all the pitching misery, hitting was the bottom line we never met. We pitched well enough, or scrapped it together well enough, to win more games.

And he has no managerial experience on any level. He’s a hitting coach (and I don’t think a good one at that) and he’s been a bench coach. There was no process to interview anyone else. So far, this new coaches in waiting deal doesn’t work too well in a lot of sports.

I don’t think he’s the right guy for LA. Even if he had been with the Dodgers a long time, he doesn’t pass the eye test. But on top of all that, he’s a Yankee. Forever.

Labeldude is very correct – Red Sox owner, Giants GM and Yankees manager. Torre was mainly a Braves player, spent 12 years with Yanks managing but to me, was always a Braves man. I could live with that. This hiring Giants and Yankees – it continues to eat away at our franchise. Jackie Robinson had the right idea when he refused to play for the Giants. He knew what it meant to be a Dodger.

Mattingly better instill some guts with the team in 2011. And find a good hitting coach. 'Cause he sure ain't going to have the horses.

Well, ex-c-u-u-u-u-se me. I want to thank all of you out there who took the time to set me straight over my fallacious theories. Far be it from me to want to give this hated Yankee interloper and Torre lackey the right to manage our precious Dodgers. It is true that Mattingly isn't a true blue Dodger like Tim Wallach who played so many seasons with the Dodgers and was such a successful batting coach that he had to be replaced by Eddie Murray.
Not everybody can have that all-important Dodger pedigree in order to reach the hallowed halls of Dodger Stadium. And of course, Mattingly is no where near fiery enough to make us forget the always fiery Walter Alston. And Alston had the temerity to come up through the Cardinal system. And I know that the Cardinal system was run by Branh rickey before he went over to the Dodgers.
And, again, tell me how many games had Brenly, Guillen, or even LaSorda manage at the Major League level before they were give their jobs? And, again tell me how many minor league games Brenly or Guillen managed? I must have missed that.

Yeah, of course we have people who are what, a Boston Red Sox owner. Not likely. A Giant GM and a Yankee manager? Hmm. Heresy! I suppose the only way anyone could get a job with the Dodgers is to have been a Dodger since the cradle, right? And let's dream in hypotheticals. What IF Scioscia somehow became available? So? All I asked was for was to give Mattingly a chance to either screw up or, heaven forbid, do well. He won't have much to work with, that's for sure. I can see all of you just licking your chops to have him fired after his first spring training loss.

S'58, you're one of the smartest on this board.

For my part, I offered no one in Donnie's place because I think there should be a look and a process to finding the guy. I dispise coaches in waiting acts. But if its Donnie, if he's the best choice after that, so be it. But I don't and won't apologize for being old-school and hating all things Giants and Yankees and not wanting their people (we're talking long-timers here) in our organization. I don't think the next manager has to have come through the LA system - shoot, we've had it dried up several times in the last couple of decades since the 60s and 70s when it regularly produced lots of talent.

I think you make excellent points that managers with little experience have done quite well. I agree and think others do, too.

I also agree I think there's little chance Scioscia is coming available. Actually, I think the Dodgers missed out years ago in getting him. I also think we missed out in the 90s in getting former Dodger Dusty Baker when the Giants nabbed him and did quite well.

As I said in my second sentence earlier, he's the manager and I hope he figures it out and succeeds. But given all circumstances with this franchise now, its certainly not ideal conditions for a first-time manager, much less a veteran manager. I just want the team to win. Hope Donnie proves me wrong 100 times over.

"Sucks!" that best describes this bunch of LA losers

I appreciate your response alanw19. Your observations are usually pretty incisive, too.


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