Grady Little Resigns

Manager Grady Little ended a month of confusion by resigning with a year left on his contract, apparently paving the way for the signing of former Yankees manager Joe Torre as his replacement. The rumored hiring of Torre has swelled speculation that free agent third baseman Alex Rodriguez and bench coach Don Mattingly would follow him to Los Angeles.

The announcement of Little's resignation came in a conference call with Little and general manager Ned Colletti, who hired Little almost two years ago to replace Jim Tracy. Little managed the club to a 17-win improvement and a postseason berth in 2006, but the Dodgers followed in 2007 with a late-season collapse into fourth place and a clubhouse divided. He went 170-154 in two seasons.

Having taken an large share of the blame for a season gone bad in many ways, Little privately voiced to Colletti that he had doubts whether he wanted to manage as a lame duck, lacking solid support from the front office being and increasingly unpopular among fans.

"There are a combination of a lot of reasons, and I'll leave it at that," said Little, disputing that he was forced to resign. "I've got my own, personal reasons. I know this is the best way to go. It's not an easy decision, as anyone might suggest, but it's final."

Tim Brown, writing on the Yahoo! Sports website says a season-ending meeting with GM Ned Colletti, Little and the club's coaches ultimately resulted in the resignation.

According to a Brown's sources, the meeting was held immediately following the final game in Little's office.

Colletti is said to have blamed himself for leaving the team without enough pitching and a strong regular line up, then he placed equal blame on Little for the 82-80 finish.

Sources say that Little didn't take that well at all, stating he and his staff worked very hard, harder in fact than in 2006 when they won the wild-card but lost to St. Louis in the post season.

"It went downhill from there," the source told Brown.

Little apparently left Colletti after the meeting with the impression he did not want to return in 2008.

Colletti gave him two weeks to think things over, then after three weeks he had started looking for a replacement.

Then in a tragic-comedy of errors, Colletti felt he had an agreement with Joe Girardi but when the Yankees matched the Dodger offer of three years, $7.5 million, Girardi opted to take the New York Job.

In the meantime, Little had decided he would, indeed, return for 2008 and phoned Colletti to tell him so.

But by then negotiations between the Dodgers and Torre had continued, according to Brown's sources.

If Brown's sources are to be believed, and there is no reason not to believe them, Little obviously found himself in situation where he was not wanted and he showed his class by taking the high road and resolving the problem in his own way.

Los Angeles Times sources say that the Dodgers and the former Yankees manager have agreed to the terms of his contract, and what remains to be done is to agree on issues about the coaching staff and his input on player personnel moves.

Torre wants to choose his own coaches, among them Don Mattingly, and is negotiating the amount of money to be spent on them.

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