Joe Torre and the Worst Farewell Speech in the History of Baseball
The Los Angeles Dodgers couldn't have summarized their disappointing season any better than manager Joe Torre's farewell speech Sunday, following a Dodgers win that allowed the team to finish a game under .500 for a fourth-place finish in the National League West.
Torre's speech seemed to stumble along in pleasantry, rambling while he searched for words to describe his tenure as Dodgers manager.
It was clear one of the winningest managers in the history of baseball was exhausted, disappointed, and bewildered in front of a less-than-capacity crowd in Chavez Ravine.
The skipper's words were hollow, as it was clear he was ready to move on, and wanted to get off the field and out of the uniform as fast as humanly possible.
The Dodgers were certainly hampered by injuries all season long, and a full head of steam wouldn't hold up as the team started to fall apart.
Long before September rolled around, it was clear the Boys in Blue were fading, and when rumors of Torre leaving the team at the end of the season began to surface, it was the final straw in a string of disappointments for the Dodgers and their fans.
Torre didn't close the door on the idea of managing a new team next season, saying "I hope you welcome me whenever I come back to this city."
Perhaps he was referring to each time his new National League team comes to the Ravine. Torre has been linked to the idea of managing the New York Mets, taking on a new challenge to turn a team around in his old stomping grounds.
His speech was more a window into things to come than a reflection on what has transpired in the 2010 season.
As Torre searched for words, it was clear his heart may have never really been in it, and Los Angeles served as a change of scenery; the polar opposite of life in New York.
Joe traded cold September nights and historic sights for palm trees and bright Hollywood lights. This was a three-year vacation for him, and it's clear this was never the new page in a new era of the same dynasty, but rather a segue into the twilight.
A short speech was the climax and epitome of the Dodgers 2010 season, and Torre's time in Los Angeles will likely be short-lived as well.
Dodgers fans should have expected more, and they deserve more, having endured a constant distraction of a divorce in ownership, and a lack of effort towards a playoff run while funds were limited.
Los Angeles deserves a champion, and just maybe Don Mattingly will succeed where Torre failed, and all he has to do is win.
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