Dodgers and Jim Tracy Agree to Part Company

Paul DePodesta, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, announced that the club and Jim Tracy have mutually agreed to part ways. "Jim Tracy has been a passionate and valued member of the Dodger organization. I have an extremely high regard for him professionally and personally," said DePodesta. "However, we felt strongly it was time for a change."

"It has been a privilege to work with the Dodger organization," said Tracy. "My seven seasons in Los Angeles have been a part of my life that I will never forget and for that I am truly grateful. I wish the McCourts, the team, and the fans and the whole Dodger organization nothing but the very best."

Tracy, 49, managed the Dodgers for five seasons, posting a 427-383 record (.527) during that period. Prior to being named manager, he served for two seasons as the club's bench coach following coaching stints in the Cincinnati and Montreal organizations. He also played parts of two seasons in the Major Leagues with the Chicago Cubs.

In a meeting before the season ended, Tracy requested a two-year extension that would give him security through 2008.

Tracy had an escape clause in his two-year deal that had to be exercised within the first eight days of the end of the Dodgers' season. But DePodesta, who is leaving town to attend his sister's wedding in Italy and won't return until Oct. 10, said he would like to have the matter resolved earlier.

The clause provided leverage in gaining an extension had the Dodgers posted their fifth consecutive winning record and made the playoffs.

The Dodgers finished 71-91, but that record could hardly be blamed on Tracy given the team's multiple injuries and DePodesta's offseason roster moves.

There was a deep philosophical difference between Tracy and DePodesta. The Dodgers were surprised by comments Tracy made before the last home game that seemed to lay blame for the season's failures on the front office.

Tracy said a major reason for the disappointing season is that several players he considered vital to the 2004 division championship team were traded or allowed to leave as free agents.

"Familiarity goes hand in hand with success, in my mind," he said. "Some of the elements we had last year that made us successful were not here."

Tracy appears to be a leading candidate for the managerial vacancy in Pittsburgh. He developed a strong relationship with Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield in the late 1990s while both were employed by the Montreal Expos and is known to have been on the Pirates' short list since Littlefield fired Lloyd McClendon on Sept. 6.

Tracy was a minor-league manager for the Expos from 1993-94 and was then-Expos manager Felipe Alou's bench coach from 1995-98. Littlefield joined the Expos in 1991 as a national crosschecker and East Coast scouting supervisor and was the club's player development director from 1996-98.

The Pirates fired most of their coaching staff on Sunday, including interim manager Pete Mackanin, and reassigned the rest within the organization.