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Funny how the Dodgers announce the Joe Torre move in the wake of the Peter O'Malley story

September 17, 2010 |  8:14 pm

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I would like to believe that was one of the greatest sports public relation moves ever. I don’t know that I can believe it, but I’d like to.

In the wake of The Times' story that former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley asked Frank McCourt to sell the team because he had "lost all credibility throughout the city," the Dodgers announced Manager Joe Torre was stepping down and being replaced next season by Don Mattingly.

All of a sudden the explosive O’Malley story was the No. 2 Dodgers piece.

Absolute genius.

The O’Malley story still figures to have legs, but much of the venom that would have been directed at McCourt by media and fans is now focused on the managerial change.

And they say the Dodgers PR department isn’t what is was … under O’Malley.

I love the conspiracy idea. Adding fuel, General Manager Ned Colletti revealed Friday a contract calling for Mattingly to replace Torre when he stepped down was actually signed before spring training.

They could have made this announcement any time! And just absolutely coincidentally, they do it on the day the O’Malley story appears in The Times?

Josh Rawitch, the Dodgers' vice president of communications, tried to play it off that way.

"The announcement had been the works since early (Thursday)," Rawitch said.

Right, but what’s a good PR guy supposed to say? We had to cut that O’Malley story off at the legs as soon as possible and just happen to have the Torre announcement in our pocket?

Greatest sports PR move ever.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers owner Frank McCourt thanks Manager Joe Torre for his three years of service during a news conference on Friday at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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