Joe Torre And The Race To 2,000

Joe Torre has said he has made up his mind on his managerial future. He has told his wife, he has told general manager Ned Colletti, but he just hasn’t told the public. Not yet anyway, although with the Dodgers home for the next six games, I expect an announcement will come soon enough.

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In fact this cryptic tweet today (hat tip to Mike Petriello of the Doger blog Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness) from the unverified account of Dodger minor leaguer Preston Mattingly, son of Don, seems to think the announcement will be very soon:

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Big news coming today Donnie baseball……

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If that is in fact the real Preston Mattingly, and if in fact the tweet is accurate, it seems the long-rumored plan of Don Mattingly succeeding Joe Torre as manager of the Dodgers is true. But, that is a lot of assumptions.

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However, if Torre does decide to retire from managing at the end of 2010, there is one trivial statistic he may wish to avoid. You see, in his 29 seasons as a major league manager, Torre is 2,318-1,990, a fine record, but 10 losses away from a dubious mark. If the Dodgers finish 5-10 or worse over their final 15 games, Torre will become just the fifth manager ever to lose 2,000 games.

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Of course, in the course of evaluating a career, 2,000 losses aren’t all that different from 1,990. Add in the fact that two of the other four managers with 2,000 losses, Connie Mack and Bucky Harris, are in the Hall of Fame, and a third in Tony LaRussa will join them in Cooperstown, the 2,000 losses aren’t that dubious at all. After all, you have to be a good manager to manage long enough to get 2,000 losses.

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Another future Hall of Famer is also on 2,000 watch, as Bobby Cox, in his final season, sits on 1,994 losses with 15 games to play, so Cox has a tougher road to travel than does Torre.

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