Jose Vizcaino joins Dodgers front office

The 18-year major-league infielder, a product of the Dodgers’ academy in his native Dominican Republic, will serve as a special assistant to general manager Ned Colletti. Vizcaino, 39, will work on special projects in baseball operations and also will serve as an on-field instructor during spring training. He also will instruct at the club’s facility in the Dominican.
“I’m very happy to be back with the organization that I grew up with,” Vizcaino said in an official news release issued by the club. “I hope to help the team win in any way that I can, and I’m looking forward to the 2008 season.
Vizcaino played for San Francisco in 1997, when Colletti was the Giants’ assistant GM.
“Jose brings in a wealth of experience and knowledge with him that will be a great asset to the Dodgers,” Colletti said in the release. “Everyone in baseball has the utmost respect for Jose because of his character and his dedication to the game, and we’re excited that he is returning to the Dodger organization.”
Vizcaino also spent time with the Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees, Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals. He had clutch World Series hits for both the Yankees, winning a marathon Game 1 against the Mets in 2000 with a walkoff single up the third-base line, and the Astros, deliverying a pinch-hit, two-run single to tie the score with two outs in the ninth inning of Game 2 against the Chicago White Sox, although Houston went on to lose that game.

By Tony Jackson

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Breaking news: Don Mattingly will NOT be the Dodgers’ hitting coach

Not in 2008, anyway. Due to an undisclosed family matter he says requires his undivided attention, the heir apparent to possibly take over for Joe Torre as Dodgers manager in 2011 won’t even be on the staff this year. He’ll move into a role as special assignment scout, which will allow him to stay home in Evansville, Ind., most of the time, although he IS expected to be in spring training. Mike Easler, who had been slated to be the hitting coach for Triple-A Las Vegas for the second year in a row, will now be the major-league hitting coach. This sounds like a temporary thing, with Mattingly possibly moving into the big-league hitting coach’s job in 2009, but I haven’t talked to anyone in the organization so far except for Josh Rawitch, who is letting everyone know about the development. More info as the day goes along, hopefully.

By Tony Jackson

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