Grady Little Dodgers' 25th Manager

Former Boston Red Sox manager William "Grady" Little was selected as the 25th manager in Dodgers history, seventh in Los Angeles history. He is also the fifth in the last eight years. He was given a two year contract with an option for a third year. The Dodgers had been without a manager for more than two months, since Jim Tracy resigned or was fired or left by mutual agreement on October 3.

Little was selected by Colletti over four other candidates -- Atlanta Braves special assistant to the general manager Jim Fregosi, former Tampa Bay Devil Rays bench coach John McLaren, New York Mets third-base coach Manny Acta and Cleveland Indians bench coach Joel Skinner.

Colletti interviewed him three times in the last week, including Monday night and Tuesday afternoon, when Little then met with Dodger owner Frank McCourt. When McCourt left the meeting, Colletti offered Little the job.

"He's one of the finest managers and gentlemen in the game today," general manager Ned Colletti said after hiring Little here at the Winter Meetings. "He's the ideal man to lead the Dodgers. I'm confident we've selected the right man."

Little's 93 wins in 2002 were the most by a rookie manager since Jim Frey won 97 games with Kansas City in 1980. Before taking over the Red Sox, Little served on Major League coaching staffs with the Red Sox, Padres and Indians. The former Minor League catcher managed 16 years in the Minor Leagues, 10 in the Atlanta Braves organization.

Little guided the Boston Red Sox from 2002-03, where he compiled a 188-136 record. But he left starting pitcher Pedro Martinez in too long in Game 7 of the '03 AL championship series, which the New York Yankees won in 11 innings and that cost him his job.

The 55-year-old Little said, "I feel like we have a long time after being introduced by Colletti and special adviser Tommy Lasorda. "The last job I took on, we had two weeks before opening day."

Little said he didn't linger on the bitter press he received in Boston, saying, "That's New England and it's Boston. All they want to do is win, and that's all we were trying to do."

Little was asked about it again at the press conference announcing him as the new Dodger manager.

"That was in the past the day after the season was over, as far as I'm concerned," Little said. "We know where that organization was when we got there, we knew where it was when we left. ... I had confidence in what I did for the ballclub in Boston, but at the same time you never know what's in your future. The opportunity is here now."

The Chicago Cubs hired Little in January 2004 to be a scouting consultant and assistant to general manager Jim Hendry. Little spent last season as the organization's roving catching instructor.

He was out of baseball from 1975-79 as a farmer in Texas, returning to Minor League ball in 1980 with the Orioles rookie team and managed in that system through 1984. He spent one season managing in the Toronto system before moving to the Braves farm system.

Eight of Little's Minor League teams were in the postseason, four of them winning league titles. His younger brother, Bryan, played five seasons in the Major Leagues with the Expos, White Sox and Yankees.

Previous Dodger managers include (Los Angeles) Walter Alston (23 years), Tom Lasorda (20 years), Jim Tracy (5 years), Bill Russell (3 years), Davey Johnson (2 years) and Glenn Hoffman who finished the last half of the 1998 season.

Brooklyn managers included Wilbert Robinson, Leo Durocher, Ned Hanlon, Burt Shotton, Chuck Dressen, Dave Foutz, Bill Dahlen, Casey Stengel, Patsy Donovan, Monte Ward, Max Carey, Burleigh Grimes, Bill McGunnigle, Bill Barnie, Harry Lumley, Charlie Ebbets, Mike Griffin and Clyde Sukeforth.

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