It is official, Joe Torre is now the manager of my beloved Dodgers. There are mixed opinions about whether this is good or bad. J.A. Adande the former L.A. Times columnist isn’t real optimistic about it.
“Torre’s time in Dodger Blue will never come close to matching his accomplishments in pinstripes.
And the city’s long relationship with the Dodgers, celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, no longer generates the same passion as its newer love, the Lakers. Sometimes it seems the Dodgers season is just something that happens in between Kobe Bryant trade updates.
The Dodgers aren’t hurting for attention. Their attendance of 3.8 million this year trailed only the Yankees. They just don’t dominate the discussion any more, don’t get the city’s heart racing or keep Dodger flags fluttering from cars on the Santa Monica Freeway.
It’s not just about the flash, the star power and the almost daily dosage of drama the Lakers provide. Nothing short of a championship will satisfy this city’s sports fans. And while the Lakers and the USC football team revived their glory days earlier this decade, we’re almost to the point where a whole generation has grown up, left for college and come back while the Dodgers maintained the exact same status: without a playoff series victory since 1988.
And no manager, Joe Torre included, is good enough to transform the Dodgers into a championship team.”
I think that the issue is not just about championships, it is a problem with baseball in general. Baseball has done a piss poor job of marketing itself to the younger generation. When I was a kid there wasn’t a question about being a baseball fan. It was a given.
Now things have changed and while people still call it The National Pastime it is probably safe to say that Football and Basketball have eclipsed it. It is kind of sad as baseball has many attributes that the other games do not. To begin with it is the one sport that doesn’t require you be a giant to play.
And from the perspective of being a fan there is something far more interesting and intriguing about baseball records than the other sports. There is a reason why the home run chase still catches our eye or why baseball fans debate when and if another player will hit .400 or higher again.
But back to The Dodgers. Ever since The O’Malley’s sold the team I have been disappointed with the management. The Mike Piazza trade was terrible and though it was under different management, let’s not forget the shoddy treatment of Ross Porter.
I am a supporter of bringing Joe Torre on board. It is a good move. Little was done. He got as much out of the team as he was going to. But before I end this I need to share one more comment from Adande.
“The actions of McCourt just reaffirm a little secret about Los Angeles: all of the behavior that gives this city a bad name comes from people who move here, not the folks who are from here. As soon as the plane lands the new residents throw on the sunglasses, find a hairstylist and start trying to fit in. McCourt, a Bostonian, just bought the flashiest car on the lot and is ready to show off. He might even accessorize with A-Rod.”