"Tommy Lasorda? I hate Tommy Lasorda." - Fletch

Tommy Lasorda. Member of Baseball's Hall of Fame. Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers for two decades.

Taking over the helm as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers from the legendary Walter Alston in 1977, Tommy Lasorda proceeded to win two straight National League West division titles and in his second year lost the World Series to the New York Yankees. By the time he retired as manager in 1996, Lasorda's Dodgers appeared in the World Series four times and were crowned World Champions twice.

Considering the rate of turnover amongst major league managers and coaches, Lasorda's twenty years can be considered a remarkable feat. Only three men managed the same team for a longer span of consecutive years, Connie Mack, John McGraw and Alston. Then again, Lasorda did not work for George Steinbrenner...

Lasorda's playing career lasted only three years, two of which were spent with the Dodgers, the third with Kansas City. He pitched in four games for the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, the only world championship won by the team during their time in Brooklyn.

In his lifetime, Lasorda has worked for the Dodgers as a player, scout, minor league manager, coach and general manager for the team, but his greatest success came as manager, for which he was inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame.

According to numerous websites, Lasorda spends much of his time on the circuit as a motivational speaker. In 2000 he managed the United States Olympic baseball team in Sydney, Australia.

Some information gathered up and regurgitated from:
Los Angeles Dodgers History at dodgers.mlb.com.

Ambassador for baseball. Ambassador for the Dodgers - he bleeds Dodger Blue. Growing up in LA, I have many fond memories of Lasorda - I'll never forget his enthusiasm for baseball and for the Dodgers. Even if he hadn't shown up at my baseball camp when I was 11 and managed to soak every camper with spit whilst giving us a pep talk on believing in ourselves. Yet another occasion where having a towel would have been real handy (thanks, Douglas Adams!)

Among the other memorable things Lasorda can take credit for in his long career are a series of profanity laced tirades. Of course, among sports figures, and baseball managers in particular, this is not a unique phenomenon. None the less, Lasorda's use of colorful language surpassed his peers by a long, long way, though if anything, underscored how much he wanted his team to do well. The targets of his tirades ranged from reporters, one of whom asked Lasorda what he thought of Dave Kingman after Kingman had just slugged three home runs and drove in 8 runs against the Dodgers, to himself, after he blew a line while taping a commercial for Slim Fast, to opposing players and mangers - in particular Kurt Bavaqua who called Lasorda a Fat Little Italian, to his own players (he once accused Steve Garvey of needing a rowing oar to hit the ball).

Lasorda's numerous tirades were immortalised into Los Angeles radio lore by the late Jim Healey, who would frequently play blurbs from these tirades, shortened versions of them and occasionaly one of the tirades in its entirety. Unfortunately, in order for Healey to comply with FCC regulations, much of the tapes were bleeped out with audible tones.

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