Tracy era comes to end

first_img Meanwhile, there were indications Tracy might be named to fill the Pittsburgh Pirates’ managerial vacancy by the end of the week. Asked during a media conference call Monday night about that possibility, Tracy said he hadn’t been in contact with Pirates officials. LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers and manager Jim Tracy parted company on Monday in what is officially being termed a “mutual agreement” stemming from his well-known philosophical differences with general manager Paul DePodesta. The move was announced after a lengthy meeting between Tracy and DePodesta on Monday at Dodger Stadium, one day after the club concluded a disappointing 71-91 season in which it finished fourth in the National League West. “I don’t have any idea as to the Pittsburgh Pirates right now and what their thinking is,” he said. “I have spoken with no one other than Paul here over the last couple of days. I don’t have any idea about any of those situations or the direction any of those clubs (with managerial vacancies) will be taking.” Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield has had a close relationship with Tracy since both were part of the Montreal Expos organization in the late 1990s. McClendon fired Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon on Sept. 6, a curious time for such a move given that it came with less than a month left in the season. It was two days later that Tracy, with Houston-based agents Alan and Randy Hendricks in tow, boldly requested a multi-year contract extension from DePodesta and owner Frank McCourt. DePodesta said Monday that request hadn’t come in the form of an ultimatum. But when asked the same question, Tracy was vague, implying he didn’t believe he could manage the team DePodesta had given him back to respectability before his contract expired after next year. “Moving forward, there was some uncertainty with regard to some of our players and things like that,” Tracy said. “I have been asked whether this was fixable, and the answer was definitely yes. I still firmly believe that. But can it be done overnight, or even in one season? I don’t know if the answer to that is yes.” At any rate, Tracy didn’t appear to have much leverage in seeking the extension — unless he was fairly certain another job would be waiting for him if he lost this one. center_img Littlefield fired interim manager Pete Mackanin after Sunday’s season finale, telling him he had someone in mind for the job with more major-league managerial experience. Littlefield then flew on Monday to Atlanta, where the Braves were preparing for their first-round playoff series with Houston, to interview Braves third-base coach Fredi Gonzalez for the job — a clear indication Littlefield is trying to hastily meet Major League Baseball’s minority-interview requirements before presumably hiring Tracy. When asked by a reporter from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette late Monday night if Tracy’s departure from the Dodgers clears the way for the Pirates to pursue him, Littlefield said, “Not until I see anything official.” Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy told the Post-Gazette on Sunday that “important information” was expected in about two days, which could have meant he and Littlefield were waiting to learn Tracy’s fate with the Dodgers. Meanwhile, when Tracy was asked during his conference call whether the Dodgers would pay him his $700,000 base salary for next season, he matter-of-factly said, “No.” Tracy then caught himself and clarified, saying, “My understanding is that if I am not working (as a major-league manager), I would be paid by the Los Angeles Dodgers.” As for the Dodgers’ vacancy, DePodesta appears ready to dive right into the search — or at least he will be when he returns on Monday from his sister’s wedding in Italy. “We certainly have a list of candidates,” he said. “Even going back to last year, when I offered the out clause in Jim’s contract, it was something I had to think about even for the conclusion of this season. We will be getting on that in the next couple of days and plan to have interviews next week.” DePodesta declined to say whether the list will include both internal and external candidates. One possible candidate who has a prominent place in the Dodgers’ storied history and is known to have interest in the job is Texas pitching coach Orel Hershiser. Hershiser has vague ties to DePodesta, having pitched for Cleveland in 1996-97 while DePodesta was the Indians’ advance scout. Another possible candidate with DePodesta ties is Art Howe, who managed in Oakland while DePodesta was the A’s assistant general manager. Possible internal candidates with major-league managerial experience are player development director Terry Collins, Triple-A Las Vegas manager Jerry Royster and Dodgers third-base coach Glenn Hoffman, who managed the club on an interim basis after Bill Russell was fired midway through the 1998 season. “There is a list of different things we will be looking for,” DePodesta said. “We’re not going to be secretive. We will announce the people we’re planning on interviewing, and that information will be known in the near future.” One thing DePodesta clearly will be looking for is a manager who shares his philosophies when it comes to player evaluation. Tracy most certainly did not, a fact he never came out and said bluntly during the two seasons after DePodesta was hired to replace Dan Evans in February 2004 but didn’t make an effort to hide, either. “Jim has reached out to me, and I have reached out to him, not only the last two years but probably even more so the past two months,” DePodesta said. “Unfortunately, at the end of the day, we realized we couldn’t quite get on the same page. That’s probably the reason why (this happened). I think we both decided this probably is best for both parties.” DePodesta’s most ominous statement came toward the end of his media conference call. “Even if we had won 95 games, we still would be having this call,” he said. Tracy went 427-383 (.527) in five seasons at the helm, winning a division title in 2004. Tony Jackson can be reached at (818) 713-3607. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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