The Lasorda Dictum

A recent column by the LA Times wonderful sportswriter and pundit T. J. Simers had him finding new Dodgers GM Ned Colletti and ex-Dodgers everything Tommy Lasorda handing out turkeys for Thanksgiving outside Dodgers Stadium. Simers inquired about the chances of Angels pitching coach Bud Black being considered for the open manager's position. "Bud Black? Bud Black!," Lasorda is reported as having sputtered. "You'd crucify us. He ain't done it before. He ain't qualified."

This is not the first time the now famous Lasorda dictum has surfaced, "you ain't qualified if you ain't done it before."

It was that dictum which, while Tommy says he loves Orel Hershiser, helped insure that Orel stayed in Texas rather than rejoining the Dodgers. Of course, Orel became the Rangers new "executive director" -- another job for which Orel has had no experience, and according to Tommy, must be unqualified for.

When Tommy, amidst the turkeys, repeated his dictum, he was standing next to Colletti, who has never been a real live GM before. Does this mean Tommy's dictum applied to him as well. Wasn't it a little uncool to say so in front of the guy? Is this what we mean by everybody is working together now?

Of course it was only hours later it was reported that while Black was originally uninterested, he had a change of heart after talking to Colletti on the phone and is now back in the picture. Did not Colletti hear the Lasorda rule? He must have, he was right there. So what does this mean?

Sometimes, but not everytime, the Lasorda dictum is right on, as in the case of the McCourts. They had never been owners before and they are indeed getting crucified as unqualified. Wonder if the thought has crossed their mind that the Lasorda dictum applies to them?

If you follow Tommy's rule, one wonders with the two term limit and all how we would ever elect a president? Or how the College of Cardinals would ever elect a pope, since there ain't any living ex-popes so there, according to the Tommy rule, is nobody at all is qualified.

We guess 'ole Tom Edison was just lucky inventing the light bulb, as he had never done it before and thus clearly unqualified to do so.

If you followed Tommy's rule to its logical outcome, baseball would become extinct because after all the experienced and qualified owners, managers, advisers, GMs and players pass on, there'd be nobody left at all to pass on the game or keep it going.

The corollary of Tommy's rule is that if you have done it before, you do it well. This is not always necessarily so. We have only to look at last year's performances by the experienced and qualified Wilson Alvarez, Scott Ericksen, Jason Phillips, Jose Valentin and others to demonstrate that prior experience in and of itself has any real value at all.

By Tommy's rule, he was qualified as a big league pitcher because he had done it before and bonus baby Sandy Koufax was not. Tommy then won fewer than a handful of minor league games in his lifetime while Sandy was one of the all-time best.

Casey Stengel always said funny things in his inimitable way of talking about baseball. It sounded like doubletalk and was. But it was good, funny, informative and even enlightening on occasion. Famed doubletalk comedians Professor Irwin Corey and Al Kelly had us old folks laying in the aisles with their illogical and non-sequitur elocutions.

But the non-funny thing about Tommy's rule is that he apparently really believes what he is saying. And except for the application to the McCourts, whence he hit a home run, the application of the rule yields more strikeouts than game winners.