Thursday, July 22, 2010

Torre Implored By ESPN Columnist To "Pull A Jackson"

It's not really clear what Arash Markazi's piece on espn.com is trying to say in his column headlined "Dodgers need Torre to pull a Jackson". Does that mean he needs to pull a twenty-dollar bill from his wallet? Or start stepping out? Or wear one glove in the dugout?

Apparently the metaphor is to Phil Jackson, the Lakers coach who decided, after the Lakers' championship this year, to return for another season. The Dodgers do not appear to be en route to a championship this season, nor does Torre appear to want to mirror Jackson's timing, waiting until after the season to announce. So what exactly are you asking, Markazi?

LOS ANGELES -- Joe Torre and Phil Jackson are both creatures of habit. They both do the exact same thing before every game when talking to the media.

While Jackson lumbers toward a makeshift podium set up in a hallway outside the Lakers' locker room, leaning on it with his left hand and often touching his lips with his right, Torre sits on the backrest of the bench in the Dodgers' dugout, his legs crossed as he sips on his green tea in between questions.

Their pregame routines might be different, but the most persistent question posed to both during those media sessions this year has been identical: Are you coming back?

As much as Torre respects Jackson and his 11 championship rings as a coach, he will be taking a different approach to making his decision than Jackson, who waited two weeks after the season to announce his intention to return after initially saying he was leaning toward retirement.

Torre said he would announce his decision in the next month to give the team ample time to prepare for next season, one way or another.

Before Torre got a taste of what it's like to watch a game from a luxury suite as opposed to the dugout while serving a one-game suspension Wednesday night during the Dodgers' 2-0 win against the San Francisco Giants, I sidled up next to him in the Dodgers' dugout and asked him whether he was pulling a "Phil Jackson."

"Well now, I didn't say I wouldn't coach basketball," he said before cracking a smile.

He's right, he didn't. Then again, he hasn't really said what he will or won't do after this season. His mindset, however, seems similar to that of Jackson, who always said he would either return to the Lakers or retire. Torre contends he's considering only returning to the Dodgers or retiring at the moment, despite reports he might be in line to manage the Chicago Cubs or Atlanta Braves.

Eight grafs in, and we haven't learned what the hell Markazi means by his term. All we've learned is that Markazi has observed both coaches' routines, and that he saw Torre last night in the suite. No, one doesn't learn what "pulling a Jackson" is until the last paragraph of this meandering, pointless piece:

Fans can only hope Torre follows Jackson's lead and decides to return to the team, even for one last season, to provide some stability for an organization in desperate need of some right now.

Oh, he wants Torre to return as coach. Well shit, that's all you had to say! In fact, you didn't even have to make a weak analogy to Phil Jackson to do so!

17 comments:

Dusty Baker said...

And it's not really analogous. It's not as if the Lakers organization is in desperate need of steadiness and would otherwise be rudderless and adrift without Phil's leadership. Being as they've pretty consistently won championships including in recent year, and have done a good job of having succession planning in key positions throughout the organization and bench.

Josh S. said...

Maybe they want him to throw his hip into the ball.

The Stig said...

Please God No... Send Torre to Chicago. Trade him for a Chicago Dog.

Dusty Baker said...

Maybe Joe should start nailing Jeanie Buss.

Spanky said...

The mental image of Torre and Jeanie doing it is disturbing. Very,Very disturbing.

Thanks Dusty

rbnlaw said...

Hey Stig,
The devil you know is always better than the devil you don't know.

And really, do you expect quality writing from espn.com? (Weisman excepted)

Hong Like a Chih Kuo said...

I'd like Dr. Buss to buy the team, that's about all the connection I'd like for the Dodgers and Lakers to have.

Come on Jerry! I'll even allow some Laker girl appearances at Dodger Stadium.

MR. F said...

Have you guys noticed that the "number of comments" header on the Smonk thread is actually accurate all the time now?

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

When Phil came back, he had Kobe, Pau, Lamar, Ron and Andrew.

If Joe were to come back, he'd have Kemp, Ethier, Kershaw, Loney and Billingsley.

It's just not the same.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

Also, Matt Barnes?

Matt...Barnes?

Le sigh.

Fred's Brim said...

pulling a Jackson, flogging the dolphin, polishing the bishop... it's a messy situation any way you look at it

QuadSevens said...

Maybe "Pulling a Jackson" just means he wants Torre to have a Big Kahuna burger?

rbnlaw said...

It seems the Lakers are going after every tormentor Kobe has ever had.

I'll take Barnes because he's a former Bruin stepping into the void left by Farmar's departure.

Steve Sax said...

Go Bruins!

Dusty Baker said...

That's a mighty tasty burger!

Dusty Baker said...

Glad I could help, Spanky!

Mr. Customer said...

@Spanky

You're welcome in advance