Grady Little’s Revenge? Former Sox Skipper Leading Dodgers Towards Postseason

How much justice would there be in the world if Grady Little is able to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers into the post-season and then make some noise there? With a three game lead over the Padres as I write this, I have to say that Grady Little deserves a lot of consideration for Manager of the Year in the National League. Grady Little was run out of Boston after Pedro Martinez hung him out to dry after the American League Championship Series against the Yankees concluded in 2003. Now Grady Little finds himself with a chance to make the playoffs, with a possible match-up down the road with the Mets, and Pedro Martinez.

If anyone knows not to take anything for granted though, it is Grady Little. His decision to leave Pedro in that fateful Game Seven cost him his job, as not one of the players he supported during the season spoke out in his favor. Pedro could have done the right thing and opened his mouth, telling the media that he talked Grady Little into staying in the contest to face Jorge Posada, a hitter he absolutely owned over the years. Posada blooped a game-tying two-run double into centerfield, and the Red Sox went on to lose in extra innings when Tim Wakefield allowed a walk-off homer to Aaron Boone. But Pedro looked on silently as the press and talk shows throughout the region ripped Grady Little up and down, leading to his finally being made the scapegoat and sent packing.

The 56 year old Grady Little became a roving advisor for the Cubs for two years before being hired by the Dodgers as their field skipper, signing a two year contract. Grady Little managed in the minors for 16 seasons, winning over one thousand games before leading the Red Sox to 188 wins in two years. Now with the Dodgers, Grady Little has been reunited with two of his former Bosox players, pitcher Derek Lowe and first baseman Nomar Garciaparra. Lowe has gone 4-1 in his last six starts and Nomar has resurrected his career, hitting .321 with 69 runs batted in, just two less than his last three injury-riddled campaigns combined.

Los Angeles is 19-7 for the month of August, and that’s with a recent four game losing skid included. Grady Little has righted the Big Blue ship after losing 13 of 14 immediately after the All-Star Break to all but go down the drain in the NL West. But nobody took advantage of the Dodger woes, and they stormed back from as far back as 7 games down to now hold a 3 game advantage. Grady Little is playing a mix of veterans such as Rafael Furcal, Jeff Kent, Nomar, J. D. Drew, and Kenny Lofton, with promising rookies such as catcher Russell Martin and Andre Eithier. Grady Little is the perfect man for this job, as his laid back style allows players to perform in a pressure free environment. Grady Little always takes the heat for his players, and in turn they play hard for him.

In the perfect world, Grady Little gets the Dodgers to a Game Seven against the Mets. With Pedro Martinez on the mound opposing Derek Lowe, Nomar Garciaparra belts a two run homer to beat New York and Pedro, 3-2, to go on to meet the Yankees in the World Series. Grady Little would never admit as much, but you can bet that in his sweetest of dreams at night, that scenario has unfolded in his mind a hundred times already this year.

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