Joe Torre, the Dodgers manager who became a legend managing the New York Yankees, will not return to the Dodgers next year, he has announced. He’ll be replaced by another Yankee legend and the current Dodgers hitting coach, Don Mattingly.
Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci, who has co-authored two books with Torre, talks about Torre’s legacy at SI.com.
Here’s an excerpt:
Will Torre manage again?
Verducci: My guess would be that he will not manage again. I would think if he still had the willingness and the drive to manage he would come back to the Dodgers next year and I’m not sure sure that feeling is going to come back once he steps away from managing. I wouldn’t’ rule it out totally if there’s somebody who wants to make a switch mid to late season next year who wants somebody with experience. I think he anticipated that this was going to be his last job managing when he took it. How many years that would be I don’t think he really knew that.
SI: He’ll always be thought of as a Yankees manager, but he did win two division titles with the Dodgers. How did he do in L.A.?
Verducci: The numbers speak for themselves. They hadn’t won a postseason series in 20 years before Torre got there and they wound up going back-to-back years to the NLCS. That alone is a great accomplishment. The Dodgers ran into a better team each year there, I thought, with the Phillies. But he restored the playoff tradition and pride that had disappeared in the Dodgers organization and he did it immediately. He went to a place with a completely different personality and completely different tradition and won.
When asked what made Torre such a successful manager, Verducci said Torre’s number one quality has been his honesty, which won him the respect of his players.