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Tommy Lasorda Has Passed Away

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He's kind of a local here where I grew up outside of Philadelphia.  When I was in HS, practically everyone had an "under the table" job washing dishes at Lasorda's Tavern in Exton, and in the offseason, it wasn't uncommon at all to see him in there.

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I’ve got a lot to say about Lasorda, but for now, I’ll just respectfully say:

 

Sorry for your loss, Dodgers fans. 

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2 hours ago, goalieboy82 said:

RIP to Tommy:

 

 

That is a well-written scene in one of the greatest sitcoms of all time.

 

Buuut...

 

The idea that Gossage couldn't go more than two innings is completely wrong.  

 

While the Goose is a Hall of Fame closer, for some reason in 1976 the White Sox' manager Paul Richards (who had come out of retirement to manage the Sox that year) decided to make Gossage a starter, even though Gossage had led the American Leagues in saves the previous season.  In that season Gossage had 15 complete games (which, by the nutty practices of the time, didn't even crack the top ten), and was selected for the All-Star team, even though he went on to lose 17 games.  The Sox then did him the favour of trading him to Pittsburgh, where Chuck Tanner wisely moved him back to the bullpen, and where he played out his contract and then signed with the Yankees (but not before closing out the 1977 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium by retiring three Yankees in the 9th inning, two by strikeout).

 

Back to Lasorda.  It was always touching to see the reverence with which Lasorda's old players spoke of him.  As a former Yankee fan, I cannot help but notice that this constrasts sharply with the feelings of many of the Yankees' players towards another loudmouth Italian manager.  Most of the 1970s Yankees maintain a polite silence about Billy Martin; and Billy does indeed have a few defenders, including Willie Randolph and Ron Guidry (though even the latter admits that Billy often neglected his duties due to drunkenness or distraction or both).  But some players, most notably the aforementioned Gossage, are open in their disdain for Billy.  Meanwhile, every one of Lasorda's players seemed to love him.  This is impressive. 

Lasorda had his ugly side, about which more can be said at another time.  But he was a great spokesman for baseball.

 

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I remember thinking he was the brash newcomer when he took over for Walter Alston.  It's crazy that he managed the Dodgers almost as long as Alston . . . and he was five years older when he got the job than Alston was in his first season.

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5 minutes ago, leopard88 said:

I remember thinking he was the brash newcomer when he took over for Walter Alston.  It's crazy that he managed the Dodgers almost as long as Alston . . . and he was five years older when he got the job than Alston was in his first season.

 

It is wild that between 1954 and 1996, the Dodgers had two managers. In the same span, the Yankees had 27 managers (consisting of 16 different people).

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3 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

It is wild that between 1954 and 1996, the Dodgers had two managers. In the same span, the Yankees had 27 managers (consisting of 16 different people).

 

It's like comparing the 1970-present Steelers to the Browns . . . except the Yankees have had plenty of on field success despite the turnover.

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3 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

It is wild that between 1954 and 1996, the Dodgers had two managers. In the same span, the Yankees had 27 managers (consisting of 16 different people).

and since 1996 they have had 8 managers.

 

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One of Tommy Lasorda’s proudest accomplishments was managing Team USA to the gold medal during 2000 Olympics 

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