Torre's Tasks

Joe Torre has a job and things to do right away. The Dodgers have emptied their 40 man roster and have 13 vacancies to fill. Torre, excluded in recent years from the Yankees player moves, has asked/demanded a larger role in that area for the Dodgers. You'd have to figure he got some of that when he agreed to his new deal.

Torre's help in player moves is more than welcome by Dodgers fans since GM Ned Colletti has come acropper more often than not in his first two years on the job.

The Dodgers have dumped a lot of high cost players - Randy Wolf, David Wells and others. Those two alone on a full year basis were way over $15 million.

There are two players still under contract who make nearly $20 million - Jeff Kent and Nomar Garciaparra. Neither is worth that kind of money anymore, age being the culprit in Kent's place and lack of spinach in Garciaparra's. Luis Gonzalez, at $8 million, won't be back. So if the Dodgers can swallow Scott Boras, the wherewithall to enter the ARod sweepstakes is there. 

The length of the contract, not the annual cost, could be the ultimate deal killer. Only LA can match New York's opportunities for a national spotlight and off field endorsements, so the LA teams have to figure in ARods plans.

Torre wants his own coaches and should have them, but the downside is the names linked with Torre are all American League oriented. The leagues are different, managing is different and Torre and crew need all of the off-season to get reoriented.

Torre's choice of pitching coach is interesting. Grady Little might not have wanted the very available Leo Mazzone because of cost but suddenly based on Torre's salary, he is in the ballpark.

And Mazzone has long experience in both the National League and young pitchers. Imagine have another Italian yet - Lasorda, Colletti, Torre and Mazzone.

A strong pitching coach is very needed, one who can step up to Torre's past habits of  going to  the same pitchers over and over and over again, as in Scott Proctor.

In New York, Torre went with youth by moving Melky Caberra to center over  the much  more highly paid but weak armed Johnny Damon. The same kind of thinking goes into the Matt Kemp to center and Juan Pierre to left plan.

Unless Rafael Furcal rebounds with a bang, Torre could move Pierre to the leadoff spot and the more versatile Furcal to the second spot. That moved cried out to be made all last season but Grady Little for whatever reason demurred.

Torre will be key to what happens to both Jeff Kent and Nomar Garciaparra. Kent is no longer  a 3-4 hitter and Nomar may no longer have enough punch left to be an everyday player. Torre has to address these issues over the off-season to head off another season of clubhouse bickering. 

Kent, Hall of Fame bound, and great player that he is/was, was a grouch even when younger. If he is going to be trouble even as a greybeard player, he and the Dodgers might be better off elsewhere.

After being mishandled last year, Torre swiftly needs to adopt a much different tack with James Loney. Period. If he does it well, the sky is the limit. More of last year's treatment will get Loney thinking in the I-am-outa-here-as-soon-as-I-get-the-chance mode.

Torre and crew have three  short months to learn the league, his  players, influence new additions, decide on some more deletions.

Boras and ARod
The news Friday was that Steve Boras and ARod want a 10 year, $350 million deal. Walter O'Malley must be turning in his grave.

Simply said, there is NO sane market for such a contract.

Super agent Steve Boras and ARod would be better off just buying their own team, become owners, and take a chance on making enough to pay themselves.

If ARod wants to live on the West coast, he could probably buy the Padres or Giants for that much. Certainly he could buy either of the Florida teams.

Pittsburgh? Cincinnati? Kansas City? Hey, the Cubs are for sale right now.

Right now, its better to be a buyer than a seller.

Boras has a long record of pushing the envelope, but this contract demand is beyond reason.

It is a pronounced insult to all baseball fans that any one player, with or without Boras, would want to take that much money out of normal peoples' pockets just for the privilege of watching a single player.

It is Pay Per View come to baseball.

Cupidity and avariciousness like this makes one wish for a cap on baseball salaries. Breaking the contract demand down, they want half to three quarters of a million dollars per predicted home run and that, momma, is just to much.

The value of the American dollar is at an all time low against the Canadian watchamaycallit, the British pound, the Euro and other currencies. Its not so much a problem for the players, who are all  overpaid anyway. But it is a problem for us chumps who are fans, the paying customers. The fans is hurting.

Agent Boras has learned his economics from the professors at OPEC, i.e., fleece everybody.

Greed is one of the seven deadly sins and by any measure, Scott Boras and ARod are both greedy and sinners.

Phooey on both of them.

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