When the playoffs begin this week, it will mark the first time in 15 years Joe Torre will not be participating.
Six months from now when the 2011 season gets under way, it will likely be the first time in more than two decades he isn't managing a major league team.Torre, who announced his retirement last month from the Los Angeles Dodgers, could be putting on a uniform for the last time in Sunday's season finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks.Torre decided he would retire from the Dodgers (79-82) on Sept. 17, and although at the time he couldn't say with certainty that he would never manage again, the 70-year-old believes Sunday will be his final game."A win (Sunday) would be nice, because I won my first game as a manager. So it would be nice to put those bookends out there," said Torre, who has been managing in the majors every year since 1990 with St. Louis.Torre, who said he will keep the lineup card and the uniform shirt he will wear Sunday, took over the Dodgers in 2008, and led them to back-to-back NL West titles and consecutive appearances in the NL championship series.This year has been a struggle for Torre, however, and he'll be out of playoffs for the first time since 1995, when he was fired by the Cardinals after a 20-27 record. He joined the New York Yankees for the following season and led them to 12 straight playoffs appearances and four World Series titles before walking away from the club following 2007.Torre will be replaced by Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly in 2011, but the two-time manager of the year bestowed Saturday's managerial duties to veteran utilityman Jamey Carroll.Los Angeles won 3-2 on Saturday, improving to 12-5 against the Diamondbacks in 2010 -- its most wins in the season series since going 16-3 in 2004.Matt Kemp homered in his fourth straight game Saturday, and is batting .438 with two home runs in 16 career at-bats against Rodrigo Lopez (7-15, 5.03 ERA), Arizona's scheduled starter.The Dodgers counter with Ted Lilly (9-12, 3.71), who becomes a free agent following this season and will likely be making his final start for the Dodgers.Lilly, acquired from the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline, is coming off a strong effort, yielding one run and four hits in eight innings of Monday's 3-1 win at Colorado. The left-hander was 0-4 with a 6.91 ERA in his previous five starts.Lilly needs a victory to avoid finishing a season with single-digit wins for the first time since 2002, when he had just five for the Yankees and Oakland. If he ends up on the losing end, however, he'll match his career high for defeats set in 2006, with Toronto.Lilly hasn't faced the Diamondbacks (65-96) since April 29, when he was tagged for six runs in five innings of a 13-5 loss for the Cubs.Lopez is 0-3 with a 3.79 ERA in seven starts against the Dodgers since beating them in 2002. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.56 ERA in four starts versus Los Angeles this year, yielding at least four runs in each outing.Lopez allowed three runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings in Tuesday's 4-2 loss to San Francisco, as the Diamondbacks dropped to 3-11 in his starts since the All-Star break.