Dodgers may replace Little with Torre as manager

Updated: October 30, 2007, 7:20 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

For a kid who grew up in Brooklyn, maybe it's a perfect fit.

Multiple media reports late Monday night said that former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre could replace Grady Little as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney on Monday that the Dodgers are expected to fire Little.

A source told ESPN The Magazine's Tim Kurkjian on Tuesday that Little and the Dodgers will in fact simply part ways, that the manager wasn't completely happy with his situation. The source also says that Torre will then be named the next Dodgers manager.

Sources close to the situation told Olney on Monday afternoon that the Dodgers had maintained contact with Joe Girardi in the hope that his negotiations with the Yankees would fall apart and they could try to hire him.

Girardi was reportedly Plan A for the Dodgers, while Torre was Plan B.

Girardi was hired as the Yankees' manager on Tuesday.

The Journal News of Westchester County (N.Y.) reported on Monday night that the Dodgers have decided to fire Little and hire Torre. Other New York and Los Angeles papers reported that such a scenario is likely.

If Torre is hired, his bench coach in New York, Don Mattingly, would likely move with him to Los Angeles as a coach -- joining the organization that drafted his son, Preston, in 2006.

Torre appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman" on Monday night and was asked about his job prospects.

"Maybe Dodgers, maybe Angels?" Letterman asked.

"Well, the Dodgers have a contract, I mean, a manager," Torre replied. "The Angels have a very good manager [Mike Scioscia]."

Torre went on to say: "That's a bad question to ask. I know what's been rumored. The local paper today is talking about going to LA. There has been a time or two that something that has been in the newspaper hasn't been true."

Little has one year remaining on his contract with a club option for a second year.

The Dodgers, from team owner Frank McCourt on down, declined comment late Monday.

The 67-year-old Torre managed the Yankees to 12 playoff appearances in as many seasons before turning down a one-year, $5 million offer for next season, with an additional $3 million in incentives, earlier this month.

Torre, who completed a three-year, $19.2 million contract this year, ranks eighth on baseball's all-time list with 2,067 victories and has won a record 76 postseason games.

Little, the Dodgers' skipper the past two seasons, managed the Boston Red Sox in 2002-03 before being fired despite leading the team to the American League Championship Series in 2003.

The Dodgers had baseball's best record in July but faded down the stretch to finish with an 82-80 record, good for fourth place in the NL West.

Clubhouse unrest surfaced between veterans and young players during the season's final two weeks, when the Dodgers lost seven straight games to the Colorado Rockies while falling out of contention.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. Buster Olney is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine.