Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Hooray for Hollywood
2007-11-01 17:11
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Joe Torre is officially the new manager of the Dodgers. My father would have been delighted. Not so much because he cared about the Dodgers since they left Brooklyn, or because he thought Torre a true class act, but because Torre told the Yankees to screw off and then set out for Hollywood. At least that's the way Pop would have seen it.

I'm really happy about the news too. I have no idea how Torre will do with the Dodgers but I do feel this: Is there really any other place he could have ended up? It's perfect. It's Brooklyn-to-L.A., it's the Yankees and the Dodgers, it's celebrity and personality, Broadway-to-Hollyrock. I love it. The Dodgers have a rich history and beautiful home uniforms. Plus, what do I care about the Dodgers? They play in the National League West. I haven't paid attention to them--outside of what I read at Dodger Thoughts--for years. Torre instantly makes me interested, win or lose.

This is cool.

Jon's already got some great analysis--thanks to Cliff, Jay Jaffe and Steve Goldman--over at DT. Check it out.

2007-11-01 17:35:08
1.   Chyll Will
Congrats, Joe, Break a leg! >;)
2007-11-01 17:41:22
2.   Robert Daeley
Since you guys are in such a magnanimous mood, would you mind terribly if we grabbed your erstwhile third baseman as well? ;)
2007-11-01 17:46:01
3.   yankz
2 Sure, and I know it wouldn't really be a trade, but if you could toss Billingsley and Laroche our way...
2007-11-01 17:54:14
4.   D4P
Congrats, Joe, Break a leg!

Preferably that of one Juan Pierre.

2007-11-01 19:02:08
5.   Shaun P
4 Sorry, but its more like to be an arm.

Specifically, the right arm of Scott Proctor. Knuckles got it exactly right over at Bronx Comix.

2007-11-01 19:10:46
6.   Zack
I see it differently. First of all, its the Dodgers, the LA Dodgers, the beacons of California baseball and Tommy Lasorda, enough reason for me to dislike them. Add that to the fact that I live in SD, and I dislike them even more.

But more than that, as that really good DT analysis points out, I just don't really see Torre as an upgrade over Grady. Perhaps in name, but Torre's weaknesses are Torre's weaknesses, and the direction the Dodgers seem to need to go doesn't fit in with that.

I wish Torre well, but another side of me could honestly care less. Now, hes just another manager, and if anything, is the manager of a team I quite dislike...

2007-11-01 19:18:29
7.   Shaun P
Best of luck to Mr. Torre. I can't wait to see if he changes at all.
2007-11-01 19:29:44
8.   Shaun P
51cq24 -

Don't know if you saw this in the last thread, but here's the full BP column about Jason Bay that vockins was talking about; its free and available to non-subscribers:

Long story short - Bay's bat speed seems to have slowed down, he isn't hitting inside pitches (maybe because he can't catch up to them), and he isn't pulling the ball for power, he's just hitting a lot of weak singles to the left. His pull power may be gone = he might have gotten old fast.

2007-11-01 19:54:54
9.   Vandelay Industries
I wish Joe all the luck in the world. I do wish he had decided to go to a better run team, but then again the Dodgers play in the hapless NL West. (This past year notwithstanding)

As a NY transplant to LA I have been painfully aware of how the Dodgers have transformed themselves fron a perennial playoff contender into a team with more money than sense. Poor contract decisions, the pocketing of profits from perhaps the most ill informed and docile fans this side of Miami and Atlanta. (I have been threatend with physical harm on several occasions for blocking fans' views of the field while standing and clapping in the bottom of the ninth with tie and lead runners on base, and no, it isn't any better in the bleachers or upper decks)

Frank McCourt, graduate of the Donald Sterling MBA program for the management of professional sports franchises, is the king of statements which range from outright lies to the simply specious. He was greeted much like Art Moreno, and like the coverage and sentiment of and toward Mr. Moreno, the fans and media have ignored each broken promise in turn. 3.5 million morons fill the seats each year and purchase truckloads of merchandise and beer from vendors who will be pulling off drive byes by midnight. (I shouldn't talk, my vendor re-fills my beer for three dollars and pockets it because Dodger concessions managers only count the cups, not the beer) Yet with history and money, they have made poor decisions and have many believing that one or more of their youngsters are any better than their AAA counterparts.

Joe will do fine because, well, no one out here cares one way or the other.

Good luck Joe. It will be fun rooting for you, even if it breaks my heart that you wound up amongst such losers.

2007-11-01 20:09:07
10.   Jon Weisman
9 - "He was greeted much like Art Moreno,"

That part is false. Major skepticism about McCourt started before he even took official ownership.

"3.5 million morons fill the seats each year and purchase truckloads of merchandise and beer from vendors who will be pulling off drive byes by midnight."

Aside from the veiled racism that may or may not be in this remark, I'd say the average age of Dodger Stadium vendors is 60.

"no one out here cares one way or the other."

Doesn't even deserve a response.

I mean, there are actually a couple of good points in your comment, including the fact that fan behavior is a big issue out here, but I feel that it is so unreasonably hate-filled it crosses the line. Painting everyone with the same hostile brush is just uncool.

2007-11-01 20:30:59
11.   Vandelay Industries

First, "That part is false. Major skepticism about McCourt started before he even took official ownership."

I meant with optimism, especially the likes of Bill Plaschke.

Second, "Aside from the veiled racism that may or may not be in this remark, I'd say the average age of Dodger Stadium vendors is 60."

60? I think you misunderstand the way a mathematical average is calculated. This remark was actually meant as a joke. As a plaintiff side civil rights attorney who has actually worked on disrimination cases on behalf od Dodgers employees, I am offended by your insinuation of racism. Perhaps it was a bad decision to place our inside jokes, albiet with a huge side of truth, into the public domain. I suppose it comes as some shock to you that several beer vendors at Dodger Stadium are current and past gang members and that the team has cut deals with the city to employ them? A concept I actually support. Lighten up man. The rest of us that live here understand very well why tailgating has been banned and police are offered free tockets so long as they show up in uniform. Come down from your pulpit Mr. Sharpton, not everything that sounds racist, is racist.

Third, "Doesn't even deserve a response." Are you kidding me? Maybe I was spoiled in NY, but these fans would put even the most hard core tweaker to sleep. Wait, was that racist too?

Again, maybe I was spoiled in NY, but when you cannot get fans on their feet during a regular season comeback, or for that matter during a playoff game, what's the point? I know there are millions of Dodgers fans here that do care, but they don't show up at games, and don't pressure the team to do anything differently, so if McCourt wants to treat these idiots like ATM's, God love 'em.

2007-11-01 20:32:54
12.   51cq24
8 yes thank you. i just responded in the last thread. it makes me think twice about wanting to trade for him, though i'm not totally convinced that the drop-off can't be explained by his knee problems, since they're basically just extrapolating from his down numbers from 1 season. i wish we could know more. it might be a bad time to trade for him, it might be a great time. depending on the price.
2007-11-01 20:40:01
13.   Vandelay Industries
12 I agree that one injury plagued season does not a career end. However I still believe that what this team needs is a tad more speed, defense, and pitching pitching and more pitching. I'd stay away from any more thirty to be overpriced free agent hitters. At least Jones and Hunter would guarantee defense, while Bay offers us up too many possible issues. Just my two cents. I'm also holding out hope that The Stick was right about Melky.
2007-11-01 21:20:54
14.   Jon Weisman
Vandelay, I'm sorry if I offended you. But your comment was written from much more of a pulpit than mine - or doesn't asserting moral superiority over 3.5 million people count.

First, you're wrong about Plaschke and McCourt: The only celebration about the change in ownership was that Fox was selling. But no one was optimistic about McCourt. He came with the threat of tearing down Dodger Stadium and the reality of putting the kibosh on the Vlad Guerrero signing.
Second, I clearly qualified my question of racism by saying I wasn't sure. You can choose to be offended, but on its surface, without knowing your career background, your comment certainly raised the possibility of it. And sorry, as a joke, yeah, it fell flat for me. That doesn't make me Al Sharpton.
And you're just wrong about no fans getting
on their feet for a comeback. Not everyone does, but plenty do.

I wouldn't dare suggest our fans compete with the fans of my wife's home. But I thought you went over the line. Tell me if I called 3.5 million Yankee fans morons and losers, without the hint of humor, that you wouldn't feel the same way.

2007-11-01 21:30:14
15.   yankz
14 Can't speak for Vandelay, and I don't mean to sound like a cocky douche because I'm definitely a moron, but I kind of think most Yankee fans are morons. I mean, we probably drove the best player in the game away...
2007-11-01 21:33:08
16.   Jon Weisman
15 - And so it is with many of us :) Guess it helps when the pot calls the pot black, instead of the kettle.
2007-11-01 22:15:46
17.   51cq24
11 "Come down from your pulpit Mr. Sharpton, not everything that sounds racist, is racist."

ok 1st, joke or not, labeling anyone who questions possibly racist comments "Mr. Sharpton" sounds racist.
2nd, you can't pretend to be insulted when you admit that what you said did in fact sound racist. and it did.
3rd, do you think that being a "plaintiff side civil rights attorney" immunizes you from ever being racist?

i'm sorry but your "joke" is not funny. it comes across as racist. and i'm saying this as someone who will defend humor and free speech when it deserves to be defended. if you have indeed been involved in prosecuting discriminatory acts on behalf of dodgers employees, that does not give you the right to joke that they are going to be participating in drive by's after each game. if nothing else, it's insensitive and thoughtless, since we have no idea of knowing whether you are joking or not. as a civil rights lawyer, i'd think you would think a little more before saying something like that. if it's a joke, it's a joke, but it isn't funny, and it SOUNDS racist, which is really all that matters here. and the sharpton comment sounds racist as well.

2007-11-02 03:54:38
18.   OldYanksFan
How is saying that a bunch of 60 year white guys might be doing drive-bys at night, being racist?

Only kidding.

But people are really touchy about racism. Racism has been, and to some degree continues to be, interwoven into our society. IMHO, many of us harbor some racist feelings/thoughts. It's hard to grow up in America, be over 30, and not. This is not an insult, but I believe just a statement of our current societal condition.

The label 'racist' is a harsh one. I don't know if saying something that sounds, or indeed is, racially insensitive makes one a racist. But we don't know Vandelay or anyone else, so maybe it's best not be be calling, or even hinting that someone here is a racist. It's not smart, it may not be accurate, and tends to lead to a bunch of posts that argue about whether a 'comment' was or was not racist.

It's happened here many time before. We should try and stay away from it.

2007-11-02 09:47:32
19.   51cq24
18 we should try to stay away from making comments that can easily be interpreted as racist. because they aren't going to be and shouldn't be ignored.

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