Well, there you have it, it's done. Grady Little is gone as the Dodgers manager, as announced on the Dodgers' own website, and in his place it is assumed (though not yet locked) comes former Yankees manager Joe Torre. I wasn't a fan of Grady, both on the field (for his ridiculous and often momentum-killing lineups) as well as off the field (for letting the veterans-versus-rookies clubhouse dissent spillover into a media circus).
The best I could say about Grady as a manager is that he's an even-keeled leader, which has its value at times. But when your team slips from first to fourth place in the division and you don't make any significant or lasting roster or lineup changes to address the month-long freefall, it looks less like even-keeled nature and more like utter complacency. It would be nice to have a manager with a sense of excitement, with a sense of urgency, with a pulse.
And so that leaves us with Joe Torre, recently deposed Yankees manager whose latest stint in New York brought four titles in twelve years. His lifetime managerial record is solid, he seems like a nice and classy guy, he brings with him a real hitting coach in Don Mattingly (which the Dodgers desperately need), and he probably is one of the few people fit to run this team from a "star power" perspective.
And I keep thinking: Why the hell would he want to join Frank McCourt's crazy team? Frank McCourt is exactly the type of mercurial, back-stabbing owner that would drive any team manager nuts. Didn't Torre just leave that situation in New York, amazingly leaving with his pride and dignity intact? Then why would he join up again with a guy with half the brains and half the wallet and none of the pennants?
McCourt's firing of Little makes this the third manager in his four seasons as the Dodgers owner. He's basically like the freshman frat boy walking along the Manhattan Beach strand; a new beauty comes along, and he bails on his current girl like she's the plague. Jamie McCourt would normally be worried, except for the fact that she probably runs the team anyway. But Frank is the kind of boss for which you would hate to work.
I've already taken the time to list the litany of poor decisions and executional miscues that Frank McCourt has made as Dodgers owner. But now we can add to the list "backstabbing your employees," since he's fired the person that he publicly supported less than one month ago. He is as fickle as the wind.
Since McCourt's public announcement of support for Little, the Dodgers have played exactly ZERO games. They've made ZERO off-season moves (short of letting Shea Hillenbrand and Olmedo Saenz go, only the latter of whih frees up any significant space in the lineup (rim shot!)). And yet McCourt, busy ripping up the field level concessions, has decided to take his sledgehammer to the pillars of the team that he just reinforced 30 days ago.
Well done, Frank. Under your management, nothing is logical and no one is safe. Even the HR moves that should make sense are executed like a Keystone Kops routine. I'm sure morale around Chavez Ravine is a an all-time high--that is, if anyone still wants to work for you anymore.
(I guess this means SoSG won't take over the Inside the Dodgers blog space next year.)