Joe Torre - Dodgers

Joe Torre to manage Team USA in World Baseball Classic

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Joe Torre has served as MLB’s executive vice president for baseball operations since retiring as Dodgers manager in late 2010–with a brief break while he pursued ownership of the team–but the 71-year-old future Hall of Famer has decided to take on another managing gig.

Torre has been chosen as Team USA’s manager for the World Baseball Classic in March of 2013. Four years ago Davey Johnson managed the WBC team along with a star-studded coaching staff that included Mike Schmidt, Barry Larkin, Mel Stottlemyre, Billy Ripken, Reggie Smith, and Marcel Lachemann.

No word yet on who will be on Torre’s staff and presumably the WBC job won’t lead to Torre following in Johnson’s footsteps by eventually becoming an MLB manage again, but if anyone is well-equipped to manager a team full of All-Stars it’s certainly Torre. He managed 29 seasons for the Mets, Cardinals, Braves, Yankees and Dodgers, winning four World Series titles and two manager of the year awards.

Team USA finished in fourth place under Johnson in 2009 and tied for sixth place under manager Buck Martinez in 2006, with Team Japan winning both tournaments.

Zack Greinke named the Dbacks’ Opening Day starter

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 21:  Pitcher Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks poses for a portrait during photo day at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 21, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Not a surprise, but a news item on a slow news day is a news item on a slow news day: Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has named Zack Greinke as the club’s Opening Day starter.

Greinke’s first season with the Diamondbacks is not exactly what the club hoped for when he signed a six-year, $206.5 million deal in December of 2015. He dealt with oblique and shoulder issues while struggling to a 4.37 ERA over 26 starts. Greinke hasn’t pitched yet this spring, but will make his spring debut on Friday. He and the club are obviously hoping for a quiet March and a strong beginning to the season.

Either for its own sake or to increase the trade value of a player who was acquired by the previous front office regime.

“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches

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A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.

The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:

  • Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
  • Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
  • Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
  • Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.

As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.

The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.

La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.