14 September 2007

Tommy Lasorda

by Joshua Worley

Last night my wife asked me what it was like to root for the Dodgers when Lasorda was their manager.

I found it hard to answer the question at first, because since he left the job of manager I've come to dislike the man and his legacy with the team. Pedro, Konerko, high pitch counts, his unholy influence in front office decisions --- I could go on, but I won't. I want to peel all this negative stuff back to a simpler time.

When I was a young baseball fan I loved having Tommy Lasorda as Dodger manager. I thought he was the best. I was so proud that the Dodgers had only employed two managers in their time in LA. I was proud that the team lead the league in complete games by pitchers year after year. I loved Tommy's passion, the way he would go out and argue for his players. I loved how he would get out there and coach third base if the team was slumping. I was thought it was great when he would argue with all four umpires in one game. I loved how he always took out the pitcher himself ( though this changed in later years. ) Most of all I loved his enthusiasm. He bled Dodger blue; I bled Dodger blue.

I find myself wishing sometimes that Grady Little had some of Lasorda's enthusiasm. But probably what looked like enthusiasm to a young eager baseball fan was just theatrics. Do theatrics have anything to do with winning games? Probably not.

I miss the innocent days when I thought Tommy Lasorda was great. But no, I don't want them back.

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