This is for tomorrow’s paper. It is important to reiterate here that Joe did NOT hear Hershiser’s comments directly, nor did I, so this is kind of awkward reporting.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre took exception on Tuesday to comments made by former Dodgers World Series hero Orel Hershiser during the ESPN2 broadcast of Monday night’s loss at Philadephia, although it wasn’t immediately clear what those comments were. Torre said he had been told of them secondhand, and Hershiser, who served as an in-game analyst for the cable channel, declined a request from the Daily News immediately after that game to clarify what he had said on the air.
“Just listen to the broadcast,” Hershiser said. “I don’t want to say it for the paper.”
According to multiple sources, Hershiser, who also worked a Dodgers-Phillies game in Los Angeles for ESPN2 on Aug. 11, questioned the Dodgers’ passion and team chemistry.
“He came in (before Monday’s game) and talked to me, and I did a couple of interviews,” Torre said. “(But) I never got any questions along those lines. I don’t know where that came from. For me, I don’t think there is any prototypical passionate team that has guys hanging from lockers and stuff. This game really is about determination moreso than showing somebody else what they think it should look like.”
Hershiser pitched for the Dodgers from 1983-94 and again in 2000 and was the Most Valuable Player of the 1988 World Series. He also seemed for a time to be a candidate for the team’s managerial vacancy after Jim Tracy was fired following the 2005 season.
“I have always been a proponent of the fact you have to eliminate the highs and lows in this game, because you have to keep it on an even keel and maintain it for 162 games. I don’t know any clubhouse where, if you have lost three (in a row) and five of six, you’re going to see guys jumping around and doing things other people consider positive.”