In a season that began with such promise, but that as summer began to wain fell apart both on the field and in the front office, today’s revelations that Joe Torre would not be back as manager, and that his protege’, Don Mattingly, would be his successor, were dual kicks to the groin that exemplified the season of disappointment.
It seemed pretty obvious that Torre would not return, and as he “groomed” his bud Mattingly to be a manager-sans-experience, that horror did seem inevitable. The twofold result is first that the wounded, bleeding Dodger franchise in being placed in the hands of a neophyte who in two games as a manager (one in spring training, one in the regular season filling in for the ejected Torre) committed two blatant errors that ANYONE who had spent any time at all around major league baseball should know to avoid (messing up line-up and making errant extra trip to the mound), and second, the guy, with the REAL future as a major league manager, who had been gaining real managerial experience in the Dodger minor league system, former Dodger third baseman Tim Wallach, has been bypassed, and will likely be in another team’s dugout next season.
Does that scenario sound a bit familiar? Ten years ago, the Dodgers, for whatever stupid reason you can insert here, were reluctant to promote long-time player and future Manager of the Year Mike Scioscia, losing him to the Angels, where he quickly established himself as one of the game’s great managers, leading his team to a world championship in only his third year.
Tim Wallach will find similar success.
Don Mattingly? Doubtfull.