Joe Torre and Jim Tracy: a study in contrasts
If the Dodgers aren’t still sitting atop the National League West one month from now, it won’t be the fault of the pitching, the offense or even the defense. No matter what happens between now and then, if the team isn’t in first place, go ahead and blame manager Joe Torre. He won’t mind. Really.
With an 8 -game lead in the division heading into play Monday, as well as the best record in baseball, the Dodgers are in good shape at the start of June. And when July arrives, the roster will get a boost with the return of Manny Ramirez. So Torre went ahead Monday and said that if Ramirez doesn’t return to a first-place club, then the manager should be blamed.
“I don’t know how many we’ll be ahead, but you’re right, if anything goes bad I screwed up, no question,” Torre said.
One of the charges against Tracy in Pittsburgh was that he took too much credit when the team won and blamed the players too much when the Pirates lost. After the game Sunday, Tracy blamed his starter Jorge De La Rosa for not pitching properly to Gonzalez when he had an 0-2 count, allowing the Padres slugger to homer. Gonzalez wouldn’t have homered if he were standing on first base . . .
. . . Tracy then blamed his pinch-hitter Smith for not hitting properly when he had a 3-2 count. According to Tracy, the Rockies cannot “do any hitting with the bat on their shoulder.”
All in all, I think the Dodgers are better off now than they were four years ago.
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