LOS ANGELES -- Jim Tracy became the latest to be shown the
door in Paul DePodesta's restructuring of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Tracy's tenure as manager ended Monday, one day after he
finished his first losing season in five years with the team. He
and general manager DePodesta cited "philosophical differences" as the reason for the mutual decision to call it quits.
The 49-year-old Tracy, in the second year of a two-year
agreement, was denied the contract extension he sought, and said he
didn't want to be in the Dodgers' dugout next year as a lame duck manager.
"No, I was not fired," Tracy said in a conference call.
He did not opt out of the final year of his contract, meaning
the Dodgers will pay him for next season if he doesn't take another
"At the end of the day, I think everybody needs to be on the
same page to move forward," DePodesta said in his portion of the
call. "We decided we needed to make a change and Jim decided to
move on as well."
Last year, Tracy guided Los Angeles to its first division
championship since 1995, but the Dodgers finished 71-91 this
season. It was the franchise's second-worst record since moving
from Brooklyn in 1958.
Tracy pointed to a difference of opinion with the organization
regarding the evaluation of players as a major reason why he won't
be back. How things turn out on the field for the team will show
whether the philosophy is going to work out, Tracy said.
DePodesta said that, because of the differences with Tracy, even
if the Dodgers had won 95 games this year, "We'd still be having
this discussion [on the conference call] sometime this month."
Tracy had a 427-383 record in five seasons. The Dodgers began
this season 12-2, but then losses and injuries started to add up.
"The tough part for me is the fact that the love I had in
managing this club, and I know I've been managing for the past five
years one of the more storied franchises in baseball," Tracy said.
"I can sit here and know wholeheartedly that I've given it
everything I could possibly give. I've put my heart and soul into this."
He said he had not even begun to consider other possible
DePodesta said the Dodgers have a list of candidates for their
job, and plan to begin interviews next week.
Asked if his decision regarding Tracy was due to his wish to
have his own choice of mangers, DePodesta said, "I certainly think
that's part of it."
Last year's NL West championship was the Dodgers' first in nine
years, and they earned their first postseason victory since winning
the 1988 World Series. Los Angeles was eliminated by NL champion
St. Louis 3-1 in their Division Series.
Tracy's tenure tied him for the fourth-longest among current NL
managers, behind Atlanta's Bobby Cox, St. Louis' Tony La Russa, and
San Diego's Bruce Bochy -- whose teams all made this season's
The Dodgers were Tracy's first big league managing job. Before
being hired in 2000, he spent seven years managing in the minors
for the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati and Montreal. He also played two
seasons in the majors with the Cubs.