Joe Torre never got the Los Angeles Dodgers to the heights his New York Yankees once reached, and now the veteran manager is moving on.
Torre said Friday that he will retire after his third season with the Dodgers, and Los Angeles announced that hitting coach Don Mattingly will replace him in 2011.
Torre took over the Dodgers before the 2008 season after 12 successful years and four World Series titles with the Yankees. Although he revitalized the Dodgers while making the playoffs twice during his relatively brief stint in Hollywood, he never matched his success in the Bronx.
He led Los Angeles to division titles in each of his first two seasons but lost both times to Philadelphia in the NL championship series. His current Dodgers began their penultimate homestand of the season Friday at 72-75 and in fourth place, 11 games behind San Francisco, with their playoff chances all but erased.
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“It has been an incredible honor to wear the Dodger uniform, and I will always carry with me some very special memories from the past three seasons,” Torre said in a statement.
Mattingly was Torre’s bench coach with the Yankees but lost out to Girardi for the manager’s job in New York when Torre left after the 2007 season. Mattingly then followed Torre to California and has long been assumed to be the heir apparent.
This will be Mattingly’s first major league managing job, although he plans to manage a team in the Arizona fall league.
“I’m looking forward to continuing what I came here to accomplish with Joe, and that’s to win a world championship,” he said.
AROUND THE HORN
The DUI manslaughter trial of former player Jim Leyritz is temporarily on hold because of legal wrangling over key pieces of evidence. Leyritz, who played 11 seasons in the major leagues, is accused of driving drunk in December 2007 when he ran a red light and crashed into a vehicle driven by 30-year-old Fredia Ann Veitch, who was killed. Leyritz has pleaded not guilty. … Tommy Harper, Jimmy Piersall, John Valentin, Don Zimmer and Eddie Kasko were enshrined in the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame. … Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton received two cortisone shots this week to help relieve the pain from bruised ribs on his left side. … The Twins scratched center fielder Denard Span for their series opener against the Athletics because of a sore right shoulder. … The Indians claimed outfielder Chad Huffman off waivers from the Yankees and optioned him to Triple-A Columbus of the International League. Huffman hit .274 with 20 doubles and 10 homers in 104 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. … Braves manager Bobby Cox has been ejected for taking exception to umpire Bill Hohn’s strike zone in the second inning against the Mets. It was Cox’s fifth ejection of the year and extended his own major league career record to 158.