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February 16, 2024

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Torre a Dodger, replaces Little

LOS ANGELES – Joe Torre grew up in Brooklyn rooting against the Dodgers. Now, a half-century after they moved west, he’s their manager.

Torre was hired by Los Angeles to succeed Grady Little yesterday, taking the job two weeks after walking away from the New York Yankees.

“Joe Torre comes with a great resume,” Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said on a conference call. “What he’s done the last 12 years is as powerful as any manager in recent memory.”

The winningest manager in postseason history, Torre moved from one storied franchise to another, agreeing to a three-year, $13 million contract. He becomes the Dodgers’ eighth manager since they left his hometown, where he rooted for the rival New York Giants.

“As a kid growing up, you didn’t like them,” Torre said on WFAN radio in New York before the hiring was announced. “As a player, to me the Dodgers were the Yankees of the National League because … you either loved them or you hated them.”

The 67-year-old Torre will be introduced at a news conference Monday at Dodger Stadium. Little resigned Tuesday after completing two seasons of a three-year deal.

Torre joins the Dodgers for their 50th anniversary season in Los Angeles, hoping to spur October success.

Favored to win the NL West this year, the Dodgers finished fourth. They have only one playoff victory since winning the 1988 World Series under Tom Lasorda.

“I’m so happy for him. I think his record speaks for itself,” said Lasorda, a special adviser to Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. “I think what he accomplished with the Yankees, he should have been able to control his destiny.

“We’re happy that he’s here – very happy.”

Torre guided the Yankees to four World Series championships from 1996-2000, and they made the playoffs in all 12 years he managed them. New York lost to Cleveland last month, eliminated in the first round for the third straight year.

Following that defeat, the Yankees offered Torre a one-year contract with a pay cut. He earned $7.5 million last season – more than any other big league manager by far.

Calling the performance incentives in the proposal “an insult,” Torre turned it down. He was hired by the Dodgers on the same day the Yankees introduced Joe Girardi as their manager.

The Dodgers had the NL’s best record in mid-July. During their late-season slide, problems surfaced between older and younger players on the team, prompting criticism of Little.

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