What in the World Was Joe Thinking?

Dodgers manager Joe Torre has sparked a media tornado in New York and throughout the baseball world with his candid remarks about his former Yankees in his new book co-written with Sports Illustrated Tom Verducci.

The Yankees, from ownership to front office to players, the New York media are 100 per cent sure to retaliate and, in the process, to at least tarnish if not severely question Torre's up to now solid image. And along the way, the brouhaha is guaranteed to spill over into the Dodgers season.

The Dodgers do not need distractions. And they now have something they don't need. A guy already making millions doesn't need the chump change the book will produce so there has to be a lot more behind what Torre wrote than just a few dollars.

Successful people from time immemorial have succumbed to a tendency to rewrite image to their own liking. Joe Torre wasn't the first and he wont  be the  last. But why does the Dodgers nation need all of  this right now.

Manager Ned Colletti inked his SEVENTH assistant GM in baseball lifer Lee Elia. It's nice Lee Elia has a new job, but the question has to be asked why so many assistants. Now Elia will only be a fancy scout living and working out of Florida and the fancy title is more appendage than anything else.  

To date, none of Colletti's assistants seems to have been able to come up with a single ballplayer under the age of 30 to come to the Dodgers. Not a Dan Uggla via the Rule 5 draft. Not a Carlos Peña. Not a Jorge Cantu.

None. Zip.

If Elia can fill this glaring void, wonderful. To date, the collective genius of Colletti and all his "assistants" has been to hang onto players past their prime  who have been lucky to get half what the Dodgers had been paying them, to fill the void with a bunch of guys where 35 qualifies as a kid.

Yesterday's spin was that Colletti will be perfectly happy with Juan Pierre is back as a full-time everyday player. Huh? The Dodgers "depth chart" on the web site continues to pencil in Jason Schmidt as the number three starter.

Come on!

Which  reminds us of  the time when the late Billy Shelly and I were covering the Philadelphia Phillies. They had two catchers - Gus Triandos and Clay Dalrymple - who hit .300. The thing was it took two of them to do  it. Triandos hit .150 and so did Dalrymple.

That's about what the Dodgers can expect from two of the veteran signings - Brad Ausmus and Juan Castro. Experience doesn't win games, hits and strikeouts do. And arms that can  still throw. Otherwise Tommy Lasorda and Fernando Valenzuela and Bill Mueller would still be active  players.

We will turn  the calendar shortly and spring training will be less than a month away.

The Dodgers have done a great job of filling in the roster with "fillers". As yet, they have not added a single new player to the starting lineup or the starting pitcher staff. Much less than somebody under 30.

An old scout used to tell us that players peak between 28 and 30. The Dodgers have a handful of great youngsters younger than that and two handfuls older than that but hardly anybody in the 28-30 range.

We don't have anything against any of the legion  of free agents who haven't been able to  find work at their asking price. But we sure are glad some sanity is coming to baseball.

When the Roman Empire failed, overpaid athletes were the highest paid people in the empire. (One wonders if they had agents too?) We just loved Andy Pettite's new contract. Half for being there, the rest pay for performance.

What a great idea. Come to think of it, wouldn't that be a great concept for government!