Thursday, September 02, 2010

If Torre Leaves, Who's Next?

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com intones that if Joe Torre retires at year's end, as expected, the apparent heir Don Mattingly might not be so apparent now after all:

Where do the Dodgers go from here?

The Dodgers have been in the news a lot lately, what with Manny Ramirez's departure, daily McCourt divorce updates and agent Dave Stewart springing to the defense of outfielder Matt Kemp. In the meantime, they're fading in the NL West, Torre just turned 70, and best of luck finding anyone who thinks he'll be back in 2011.

For two years, Don Mattingly has been perceived as the Dodgers' manager-in-waiting. But Torre's departure means his principal benefactor is out the door. And people are suddenly taking note that Mattingly, while a terrific person and great baseball man, has no managerial experience.

That's why more attention is starting to focus on Tim Wallach, manager of the Dodgers' Triple-A club in Albuquerque. He played for the Dodgers from 1993 through 1995, won the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year award last season and is starting to get that future-managerial-star glow about him.

"Without a doubt, he's a top-of-the-line guy,'' a National League scout said. "He's turned out to be a pretty darned good manager, and he's going to get better. I know an awful lot of people there think he should get that job.''

14 comments:

Greg said...

I'm not one of those people who delight in bashing Mattingly, but it does rub me the wrong way that Mattingly would be just handed the job, and this isn't even a jibe about the mistakes that he's made (like going to the mound twice, etc etc). The bottom line is, the guy has no history with the organisation as a player.

I say give Wallach a shot, why not, the guy's done it at the minor league level and who's to say lightning won't strike twice with a former Dodgers AAA manager?

Fred's Brim said...

I would imagine that Wallach would be a lot cheaper than Mattingly. You have to figure that will be a factor if they have to hire a new guy. Maybe ownership's penny-pinching ways will be a benefit for once!

Greg said...

Wallach would be cheaper, probably, but I don't understand why people are saying Mattingly would be expensive? He's got no managing track record anywhere, this would be his first major league managing contract (like Wallach.)

Neeebs said...

Lest we forget, Mattingly hasn't really done a great job as a hitting coach either. Not that a coach is to blame, but the hitters don't seem to be making the adjustments that you would expect and that burden should fall (at least partly) on the hitting coach.

rbnlaw said...

I see this as another Bill Russell/Davey Johnson situation. Do I go with the flashy choice, or the sensible choice.

I see Wallach as sensible, workable, probably the best for the young players and vets alike. Matts is flashy, has a Yankee pedigree, and may be prone to mental errors.

On the other hand, the Topes blew an 8 run lead in the top of the 9th last night, so Wallach would feel right at home here in L.A.

el montanero said...

i'm another who'd much prefer to see wallach over mattingly. liked him as a player and he's got a much stronger resume as a coach/manager. although, call me crazy, but would anyone else be interested in seeing dusty baker back in blue? i remember there were rumblings about him coming to the dodgers before they hired joe torre (and was sorely disappointed with the choice at the time, even more so now). i'm sure tommy lasorda would poo poo the idea, but i think he might be just the kick in the ass the younger players need.

Greg said...

the problem with dusty, as others have mentioned is that not only would he kick the ass of the young players, he'd also wrench the arms out of the young pitchers to beat them with. Dusty Baker is well known for torching young pitchers. So, with the Dodgers having so many prized young pitchers, I doubt Baker would be a viable option.

Josh S. said...

Two words: Brad Ausmus.

Two more words: I'm joking.

Mr. Customer said...

Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Matt Clement, and whatever is left of Carlos Zambrano protest against hiring Dusty (you know, the official one)

Rafael Bournigal said...

It's a tough call on who would take over because our young guys might not take too well to a chap ass type manager. Just look at how Matt Kemp reacted to comments made by Bowa and Coletti. The players we have now have been used to a very player friendly manager going back to Grady Little and Torre. I'd like to see Girardi but that's a bigger long shot that winning the lotto. Dusty would be our rotation's nightmare so I'd take anyone but Dusty

Dusty Baker said...

Hey! What's wrong with me? I think I'd do well.

Dusty Baker said...

Isn't Torre also known for torching players' arms (e.g., Scott Proctor)?

Mr. Customer said...

@Dusty

This is true, but Joe isn't really in the equation. Also, his hangup is primarily in the bullpen, where as Baseball Manager Dusty Baker feels that 218 pitches a night is ok, as long as you're getting outs.

Neeebs said...

On the flip side, if you torch the young arms, then they would be all used and worn out by the time that they are arbitration eligible. Save money on payroll and keep churning new youngsters.

BTW, thanks Neeebs for letting me use your avatar for this post.

Signed a guy named Frank