Is Anyone Buying This?

Since Joe Torre has yet to be named the official manager of the Blue, we’ll hold off on discussing what that’ll mean until it actually happens. In the meantime, there’s the simply astounding turnabout of the last 24 hours of the Reign of Griddle to discuss.

For the entirety of this drama, this was the chain of events we had all led to believe had occurred:

1. End of another disappointing Dodgers season
2. McCourt and Colletti each state that Griddle is back in ’08
3. After a few weeks, McCourt and/or Colletti change their mind about Griddle and reach out to Joe Girardi
4. After it becomes clear Girardi’s getting the Yankees job, they go to Plan B – Torre.
5. All the while, letting Griddle twist in the wind until he finally quits in disgust and/or before being fired.

120605_colletti_little_lasorda_1.jpgThis timeline has the positive outcome of not having Grady Little as the manager of the Dodgers; but the much more ominous one of making the front office and ownership look awful by letting a good man (though not a good manager) suffer for nearly two weeks before being tossed aside – an especially damning sign for a GM who’s biggest strength is supposed to be people skills. He talks to the fans so the software people don’t have to!

However, now we’re hearing this is how it went down (differences in italics):

1. End of another disappointing Dodgers season
2. McCourt and Colletti each state that Griddle is back in ’08
3. Griddle expresses to Colletti that he’s unsure if he wants to return in ’08
4. Colletti does his due diligence by contacting other candidates
5.
After it becomes clear Girardi’s getting the Yankees job, they go to Plan B – Torre.
6. Griddle finally decides to step aside, even though “I wanted Grady Little back,” said Colletti. “We discussed a lot of things, how he felt and how I felt, and we just felt it was best for everybody that this is where it ended up. I encouraged him a handful of times to think it through, that I wanted him back.”

Whew. So what are we to believe here? I have a difficult time thinking that Grady would really need an entire month to decide whether he’d come back in 2008. On the other hand, if it’s the first scenario, it’s mind-blowing to think how bad of a PR botch job this was by the higher-ups.

My best guess? The truth lies somewhere in between. The Dodgers.com article states,

But having taken an inordinate share of the blame for a season gone bad in many ways, Little privately voiced to Colletti that he had doubts whether he wanted to manage as a lame duck, lacking solid support from the front office and being increasingly unpopular among fans.

So what that says to me is, Griddle was going to be welcomed back in 2008 for the last year of his deal, but without a contract extension. Griddle takes that as a sign they don’t trust him and says he’s uncomfortable with it. Ned checks in on other candidates, and somehow the word leaks out and now Griddle is really cooked – it’s unlikely he really could have returned after the events of the last two weeks. But since everyone thinks that Colletti/McCourt are screwing over poor Griddle, in order to avoid a PR backlash they offer him a nice severance package in order to go along with the Scenario #2 story.

There’s also the possibility that Colletti came to the same conclusion most Dodger fans have had for the last year and a half – that Griddle isn’t much of a field general – but.. well, we all know that‘s not the case.

What do you think?

- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness msti-face.jpg

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