Joe Torre is the new face of the Dodgers. That's the biggest change his hiring brings. From the perspective of all the national writers he's now the most important part of the team, even as some of them may say that he can't do it all himself, that the Dodgers are far from a sure thing next year. The Dodger season of 2008 will be about Joe Torre's quest for redemption, even if he denies it. Even though it's the players who matter, not the manager. I think most of the baseball writers out there know this, but they can't help themselves. The Joe Torre redemption quest makes a great story, and it involves the Yankees. It's always going to be one of the angles whenever anyone non-local talks about the Dodgers. The truth is Joe Torre is now the most famous current Dodger. Number two is Nomar. I guess Vinny is number three.
The only way Torre doesn't remain the most famous current Dodger is if the team signs A-HRod or if one of the young players becomes a mega-star next year. Or maybe if they traded for someone like Johan Santana. I think fame is a good quality to look for in your manager. It's not as if there's much else separating all of them. Having a famous manager is fun for the fans. I don't know if it's worth 5 million a year, but it's worth something. It gives an irrational sense of hope. In the backs of our minds we all know that famous people always win. Things go their way. Even though we know baseball doesn't work this way, it's still a shock to think Joe Torre's ballclub could lose. He's Joe Torre! It would be like OJ going to jail.