David Wells calls Joe Torre a “coward” and a “liar”

17 Oct 1998:  Pitcher David Wells #33, catcher Joe Girardi #25 and manager Joe Torre of the New York Yankees walk off the field during the 1998 World Series Game 1 against the San Diego Padres at the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. The Yankees defeated the Padres 9-6. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Laforet  /Allsport

While appearing on a recent podcast for Y! Sports Blogs’ “Why Is This News?” David Wells called his former Yankee manager Joe Torre a “coward” and a “liar.”

“I had [Yankees pitching coach] Mel Stottlemyre come up to me in ’97 and tell me they were going to sit me out in the first round against Cleveland,” Wells told us. “I said, ‘If you’re going to sit me out the first round, you might as well just send me home.’ That pissed me off because I won like 15, 16 games for them. […] That’s pretty degrading when you have your manager tell your pitching coach to tell you, ‘Hey, you’re going to sit out,’ rather than telling you himself. That’s what Joe Torre is to me, a coward.

“I don’t like him at all. As a manager, I think he’s terrible. He wasn’t a fair manager. He didn’t treat people the same. He definitely didn’t treat me the same. […] If he tells you anything else, he’s a liar.”

Joe Torre isn’t immune to criticism for some of his managerial decisions and trust me, I’ve questioned some of the moves he’s made over the years. But he’s won four World Series titles in his career and is a two-time AL Manager of the Year. He may have had some great times while in New York, but they won under his direction.

Wells has the right to his opinion and hey, maybe everything he’s saying is true. That said, I find his complaints about the Stottlemyre-Torre situation in ’97 a little childish. After all, Wells was a pitcher and Stottlemyre was the pitching coach. Maybe Torre should have told Wells himself after making a big decision like that, but I’m sure managers have done much, much worse than tell their pitching coach to deliver a message to one of their pitchers.

Besides, isn’t Wells the same clown who left Game 5 of the 2003 World Series after just one inning because of a bad backache and stuck Torre with having to use his bullpen for the rest of the game? (A game the Yankees eventually lost in a Series they eventually lost.)

Again, Wells has the right to his opinion but people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. He comes off looking like a baby here.

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Despite lack of experience, Mattingly to replace Torre as Dodgers’ skipper

Aug. 02, 2010 - Los Angeles, California, United States of America - 2 August 2010: Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly (R) talks to Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman James Loney.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Don Mattingly will replace Joe Torre as the Dodgers’ manager for the 2011 MLB season.

An official announcement will be made Friday before the Dodgers’ game against the Colorado Rockies.

Mattingly has been the Dodgers hitting coach since the middle of the 2008 season, which was Torre’s first with the team. Before that, they were together with the New York Yankees.

The Dodgers announced earlier this season that Mattingly, who has never been a manager, would guide a team in the Arizona fall league, fueling speculation he was being prepared to take over the major league club.

The article reports that Torre may stay with the Dodgers organization in some capacity, although nobody knows at this point what role he would have with the club.

It’s been long believed that Mattingly would take over for Torre some day, but there has been recent speculation that the Dodgers were considering Tim Wallace for the position. L.A. hasn’t exactly been an offensive juggernaut under Mattingly’s instruction this year and considering he doesn’t have any managerial experience on any level, this could prove to be a bad move in the long run.

Although hey, he has been learning under Torre for the past couple of years, so maybe “Donny Baseball” will surprise.

Torre’s mistakes bigger than Mattingly’s gaffe

June 27, 2010 Los Angeles, CA..Joe Torre of the Dodgers argues with third base umpire Jerry Crawford after a strike call by home plate umpire Chris Guccione on Garrett Anderson during the Major League Baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The Yankees defeated the Dodgers, 8-6, in 10 innings..Josh Thompson/CSM.

Lost in the double mound visit gaffe by Don Mattingly in the Dodgers’ embarrassing 7-5 loss to the Giants on Tuesday night was a series of horrendous decisions by L.A. skipper Joe Torre earlier in the night.

Tim Lincecum sent the Dodgers’ bench into a tizzy after he hit Matt Kemp with a pitch to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. Then reliever Denny Bautista really pissed off L.A. when he threw one high and tight to catcher Russell Martin in the bottom of the sixth (which led to L.A. bench coach Bob Schaefer being ejected after he started screaming at home plate umpire Adrian Johnson).

In trying to send a message to the Giants that he wasn’t going to take all of their shenanigans, Torre sent his starter Clayton Kershaw (who had already thrown over 100 pitches and was starting to get beaten like a piñata) up to the plate following Martin’s fly out to left. Mind you that at this point, the Giants had all but erased the Dodgers’ four-run lead and it was now a one-run game at 5-4. Kershaw promptly struck out swinging, as did Rafael Furcal to end the inning.

In the top of the seventh, Torre’s intentions were made clear when Kershaw threw his first pitch of the inning right into Aaron Rowand’s thigh. Johnson, who had warned both benches after Lincecum had beaned Kemp, then ejected Kershaw and Torre as Rowand took his base.

On the surface, it appeared that Torre was just making a point that the Dodgers weren’t going to back down from their biggest rival in their home park. But when you stand back and look at the situation on a whole, it was one of the dumbest moves by a manager this season.

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Tim McCarver compares Joe Torre situation with Yankees to WWII

During FOX’s broadcast of the Yankees-Rays game on Saturday, announcer Tim McCarver broke into a tirade over the way the Bombers handled former manager Joe Torre’s exit from New York.

Here’s the video.

McCarver has always loved to hear himself talk and this is evidence of such. He says that Yankees have essentially scrubbed themselves clean of all things Joe Torre in their new stadium, but there’s zero truth to that. There might not be a statue of Torre outside of the stadium, but there is at least one photo of him on the field level concourse and I’m sure there are others.

Some announcers love to compare situations in sports to historical events like World War II. In most instances, they go overboard in these comparisons and I think that’s what McCarver did here. What does he want the Yankees to do? Have a Joe Torre day at the stadium while he’s the manager of the Dodgers? It isn’t going to happen. Given all he accomplished in New York, it’s unfortunate that Torre didn’t end his career with the Yankees, but things happen. Times change, people move on – everything eventually comes to an end.

Torre might manage in 2011

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre has one year remaining on his three-year, $13 million contract. It’s been expected that Torre would retire after next season, leaving the door open for Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly to take his place. Torre will turn 70 next year, but he feels motivated enough to manage in 2011.

As T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times reports

I hear Joe Torre is talking about extending his contract as manager with the Dodgers and remaining beyond next season.

“Where did you get that?” Torre says, the first time all weekend he seems to care where I’m getting my inside information.

But it’s true, Torre says, “we’re talking about it.”

We know this, he’s not chatting with Jamie McCourt about it.

“We were talking about my coaches and I’ve been thinking about it,” Torre says while mentioning General Manager Ned Colletti’s name and plans to chat again once Torre returns from a charity function in New York.

“It’s been fun. When I came here, I was curious about how it might go. But the last two years have been invigorating. You see progress and your ego tells you maybe you had something to do with it.”

The Dodgers made the NLCS in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1985. Given this success, the team signed GM Ned Colletti to a contract extension last month. Torre is still an important piece to the Dodgers puzzle, so I think the Dodgers are willing to keep him as long as he likes. He’s obviously had less to work with than he did in New York, but those 95 wins last season say otherwise.

Still, the Dodgers need to handle Mattingly wisely. (Mattingly interviewed for the managerial openings in Cleveland and Washington but wasn’t hired.) He says he has no qualms about Torre’s decision to carry on and is willing to wait patiently.

Torre is sometimes too carefree for my tastes, appearing as if he’s just going through the motions. He claims he still has the desire to win, but I’d like to see him take a more proactive stance in the future. After all, the Dodgers are only a couple starters away from overtaking the Phillies and Torre’s postseason experience is perhaps his greatest asset.

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