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Sunday, September 19, 2010
Joe Torre says Dodgers haven't quit

By Tony Jackson

LOS ANGELES -- Although the Los Angeles Dodgers entered Sunday having lost 15 of their past 20 games -- and although they had scored two runs or fewer in half those 20 games -- manager Joe Torre said his players have not quit.

"I think guys are going out there and doing as much as they can do,'' Torre said. "I don't think anybody has quit. What you might see is some players who have been regulars who I think are frustrated and disappointed. But everybody is here on time. I think if you saw some guys straggling in a little late and acting like it was an imposition for them, then that might be true, but we haven't had that.''

Torre to break with tradition in last game

Torre said he will slightly tweak his annual tradition of allowing one of his players to manage the final game of the season and assemble his own coaching staff from among the rest of the players. This year, because Torre is stepping down as manager and catcher Brad Ausmus, who managed the team on the final day of the regular season last year, is retiring, Torre said he will manage the final game on Oct. 3 against the Arizona Diamondbacks and that Ausmus will start that game behind the plate.

The two games before that, on Oct. 1-2 against the Diamondbacks, will be managed by two different players. Torre said those players are likely to be Ausmus for one game and a yet-to-be-named player for the other. He hinted that it won't necessarily be a veteran because he would like to give a younger player a taste of what it is like to run a game.

Torre pointed to both James Loney and Rafael Furcal as possible candidates as they walked past reporters gathered around Torre during batting practice.

Torre did say that with the exception of those two games, he will continue to manage every game instead of handing those duties off to his successor, hitting coach Don Mattingly, whom Torre allowed to manage almost every game during spring training.

Although it wasn't made public until Friday, when the Dodgers announced that Torre will step down and Mattingly will take over next season, Mattingly already had a contract while he was managing those games last spring guaranteeing that he would be Torre's successor.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for Follow him on Twitter.