Soon after Dodger owner Frank McCourt (sadly) confirmed Ned Colletti would return as the team's General Manager, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced they would be retaining the entire coaching staff for 2009.
This comes as a blow to those who were hoping for a change at the pitching-coach position. Rick Honeycutt will start his fourth season as the Dodgers' mound supervisor. Now hope must be delayed until 2010 that Greg Maddux will be able take over the duties of supervising the Dodger arms.
On a positive note, Larry Bowa will return to the third-base coaching box. He has been the best person to man that position since Joey Amalfitano was let go in 1998. Don Mattingly will have a full season to work as the hitting coach and be assisted by Jeff Pentland, who is being retained as the organization's roving hitting instructor.
Mariano Duncan will be in his fourth season at first-base coach. While his fiesty approach to the game may not be welcome in opposing dugout nor the league offices, Mariano has recently been inducted into the Dominican Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of his 12 seasons as a major-league player.
Bob Schaefer returns as Torre's right hand man in the dugout, and Ken Howell will continue serving as the bullpen coach.
Dodger legend Manny Mota will enter his 30th season as a Dodger coach in 2009, his 40th over all with the organization. As with Jim Gilliam's No. 19, no one should be issued the No. 11 jersey after Manny's career comes to a conclusion. In spite of all the hoopla over the fellow who was wearing No. 99 the last few months, Mota earned many Manny chants for decades in Dodger Stadium because of his clutch play.
Leaving Vero Beach behind is only one of the changes the Dodgers will see next spring. There are new managers and coaches at the minor-league level, not to mention different cities for the AAA and AA teams to reside in.
In a return to the past, the Dodgers will field their AAA team in Albuquerque, though the bright lights of that New Mexico town will never be mistaken for Las Vegas, NV.
This is where Tommy Lasorda earned his bones with the players who would form the championship Dodger teams of the '70s and '80s. Now the franchise is known as the Isotopes, from the fictional team in The Simpsons. Back in the day, they were called the Dukes.
Lorenzo Bundy will enter his third season as the Dodgers AAA manager, John Moses will be in his second season as hitting coach, as will Jim Slaton be in charge of the pitchers for his second season.
The AA team will play in Chattanooga, continuing the four syllable theme for city names. The Lookouts will have John Valentin managing after his promotion from the organiziation's California League Single-A team.
Luis Salazar will be in his third year of coaching future Dodger hitters at the AA level while the pitchers will be supervised by Glenn Dishman, who will be in his second season at this level and fifth overall in the Dodger system.
The Single-A Inland Empire 66ers will have Carlos Subero as its new manager. Subero was the Chicago White Sox AA manager last season. Jason Wood is the new hitting coach, recently retired after 18 years playing professional ball and Charlie Hough will be tending to the young pitchers for the third season with the 66ers.
Juan Bustabad will begin his second year managing the Single-A Great Lakes Loons. This will be his ninth year working in the Dodger farm system. Michael Boughton was promoted up a level to mentor the batters while Danny Darwin will begin his second year tending to the twirlers at Great Lakes and his fourth in the Dodger system.
The Short Season Single-A Ogden Raptors will have Damon Berryhill managing, coming over from his post with the Texas Rangers Single-A Bakersfield team. Henry Cruz will guide the hitters and Chuck Crim supervises the pitchers. Cruz was with Inland Empire last year, and Crim has served as a scout in the Dodger organization for the last two years.
At the Rookie Level Arizona League Dodgers, Jeff Carter returns for his second year as manager, third in the Dodger system. Leo Garcia plays the hitting coach equivalent of Benedict Arnold after spending the last nine seasons in the San Francisco system.
Casey Deskins will begin his third year tending to the young arms at this level and 13th overall as a member of the Dodger organization.
The Dominican Summer League Dodgers will see stability with their staff as manager Pedro Mega and hitting coach Tony Mota are in their third year each, while pitching coach Kremlin Martinez begins his fourth year.
In the Dodger organization's coordinator positions, Mike Brumley takes over as the field coordinator after managing last year at Single-A Ogden.
Gene Clines will begin his second season as hitting coordinator, Rafael Chaves starts his first year as pitching coordinator, Rodney McCray will be in his second year as outfield/baserunning coordinator, Matt Martin is the infield coordinator for the third year, and Travis Barbary will handle the catching coordinator duties for his third season.
The Dodgers will have three staff members based at their new Glendale, Arizona facilities. John Shoemaker, who has been in the Dodger organization since 1977 will be the coordinator. Shoemaker had managed the AA Jacksonville team the last four seasons.
George Culver will work with pitchers while Lenny Harris rejoins the Dodgers in the position of senior hitting coach. Culver will start his sixth season working with Dodger minor league arms.
Harris has been the hitting coach for the Washington Nationals the last season and a half. He is also the all time Major League record holder for pinch hits with 212. Lenny was a fan favorite when he played for the Dodgers from 1989-1993.