In spring training, it is the manager?s job to prepare his players physically, mentally and fundamentally.  To be physically prepared his players have to be in good shape.  To be fundamentally prepared his players have to know the game.  But to mentally prepare players for a 162-game season, as well as the playoffs, the manager has to convince his players that the only way they will win is to play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.  That they must play the game in an unselfish manner.  That if all 25 guys on the roster got on one end of the rope and pulled they could pull all 29 other teams with them.  But if half got on one end, and the other half got on the other end, then you can pull all day, but all you pull is against yourselves.

This year the Dodgers have one of the best managers in the game in Joe Torre.  I?m not saying that because he?s Italian, I?m saying it because I?m Italian!  All kidding aside, I say it because Torre knows how to prepare a team in the three ways I talked about.  Just seeing him in the clubhouse this spring gives me great hope for the season.  He and his coaches have been met with great respect, and when he talks, our players listen. Tommy_and_torre_1

Although he has four World Series rings, what impresses the players most is his knowledge of the game, and how he puts players in a position to succeed.  He is joined by an excellent coaching staff in Don Mattingly, Larry Bowa, Bob Schaeffer, Rick Honeycutt, Mariano Duncan and Kenny Howell.  These guys don?t just give signs and hit fungo?s, they teach the fundamentals of the game.  Just because Martin, Kemp, Ethier, Loney, Billingsley and Broxton are in the bigs doesn?t mean they stop learning the game.  They have to work harder now than ever before, and it?s up to Torre?s coaches to help them learn.

Last Fall I spoke at 92nd Street Y in New York.  Bob Costas was the moderator and he made a great comment.  He said that the Dodgers have an Italian Hall of Famer, an Italian general manager and an Italian manager; now the Five Families are all happy.

Well I?m happy to have Joe Torre at the helm of the Dodgers.  I look forward to an outstanding season, and how fitting would it be to raise that championship banner once again as we celebrate the Dodgers 50th anniversary of moving from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.


There is that great pic I was wanting in another blog here earlier.You and Torre together.I can not stress how great it is to see the two of you together enough.We just watched the highlights of the Dodgers and Braves game .Great way to start the year.The season is looking promising already.The energy just feels good. Now I have to go see where I can find a copy of the photo.I do hope it is available to the public.

Physically, Fundamentally & Mentally… now say that real fast over and over! =) Love the mental toughness part of your story…it’s so important! GO DODGERS!!!!

Hey Tommy:

The Queen of Soul (Aretha Franklin) couldn’t have said it better than you but she sure could sing it — R-e-s-p-e-c-t! Torre is in a league of his own and in my opinion, he’s the best manager in the game of baseball today — his managerial career speaks for itself. He’s a natural born leader and communicator… I look forward to watching Joe Torre work his magic in Los Angeles and win a World Series Championship!

I think we have a great Hall of Famer in you Tommy, who was also a great manager, we have a great general manager(used to be with the Giants) and our present manager is great too.(especially since he’s no longer a Yankee) I’m not saying that because you’re all Italian…Naaahhh. I’m saying it because IIII’m Italian. I always wanted to say that, thanks by this blog, you gave me an opportunity to do it. BUT it takes all kinds of races and nationalities, as you very well know Tommy, to get to the Fall Classic. Don’t forget to give them PERSEVERANCE when you get in that dugout, this spring. I still hope to someday see you at Bamontes again.

The best manager in the history of baseball.. Tommy Lasorda

“This year the Dodgers have one of the best managers in the game in Joe Torre. I?m not saying that because he?s Italian, I?m saying it because I?m Italian!”


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