Joe Torre was holding court in the Dodgers’ home dugout Tuesday afternoon in full uniform. In a way, it was like he never left — save the Team USA threads, the team of all-stars on the field, and the stakes of a World Baseball Classic exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox.
The range of topics he addressed with the media was befitting a man with one hand in Major League Baseball’s executive offices and another in the WBC. Torre is managing the United States entry in the international tournament, in uniform for the first time since he last managed the Dodgers in 2010. In the meantime, he’s worked out of MLB’s Manhattan offices as the league’s Executive Vice President, Business Operations, a job he briefly vacated to explore a purchase of the Dodgers.
Sandy Koufax was a surprise visitor to Camelback Ranch today. A surprise, at least, to some in the media room.
Koufax — who rarely gives interviews –blind-sided this member of the media by giving a brief interview in the Dodgers’ clubhouse, so we’ll credit Eric Stephen of truebluela.com for providing these words from the great lefty’s mouth:
On the Dodgers’ impending change in ownership:
“You’re sad to see it going through this kind of change. Change is inevitable, but this is not the normal way it happens.”
On whether Clayton Kershaw (Koufax watched Kershaw’s bullpen session Friday) has a ceiling:
“No. How do you make up a ceiling? His only ceiling is time. How long he will play, you don’t know. But as far as talent is concerned, no.
“If he’s as good as I think he’s going to be, I’m honored.”
The New York media is already feasting on Manny Ramirez’s trip to the Big Apple.
The Daily News’ Roger Rubin and Times’ Chris Hine attended Joe Torre’s charity gold tournament Monday in Briarcliff Manor. They bring similar perspectives. Rubin’s piece discusses how, amidst the Manny madness, Torre himself will judge accomplishments from the steroid era; Hine’s focuses on how Torre has been able to navigate the Dodgers through the first half of the season. MLB.com’s Jared Diamond was there as well.
An interesting blurb from Ken Gurnick on the Dodgers’ get-out-the-vote effort for Matt Kemp: “The Dodgers are attempting to enlist two of Kemp’s NBA friends, Trevor Ariza and Sheldon Williams, via their Twitter accounts in hopes of enrolling all of their followers to vote for their buddy.”
In other news, the LAT’s Kevin Baxter has an interesting story on Manny’s stomping grounds.