Plaschke weighs in *

Times columnist Bill Plaschke, the leading cheerleader to get Paul DePodesta fired, hails the Dodgers' move in Sunday's paper and predicts that veteran old-school baseball exec Pat Gillick will become general manager, with Orel Hershiser as his assistant and Bobby Valentine as the field manager.

Some will say this means the Dodgers are in chaos. I say this means they are finally seeking order.

Some will say DePodesta wasn't given a fair chance. I say he never should have been hired in the first place.

Some say this makes Dodger owner McCourt look like a man who has lost control. I say this is about him finally taking control, however clueless and callous he appears.

Plaschke repeats his bizarre swipe at "the computer"—as if all teams don't use them, now more then ever—and tips his hand at where he's really coming from:

"This is about something much bigger than him, bigger than the team, bigger than Chavez Ravine. This is about a Dodger championship tradition worth saving even at the risk of the public humiliation that McCourt will endure, and deserve."

Uh, just to recap that championship tradition: the Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since 1988 and they've won their division a total of once in the last ten years—same as the Cubs. Except for his friendship with power-behind-the-throne Tom Lasorda, Valentine's entire Dodger tradition consists of two full seasons and even they ended thirty-two years ago when he was traded to the Angels. As a major league manager, Valentine never once finished in first place in fifteen tries. Within the sport, his services have not exactly been in demand. And Hershiser, though a very good player, is unproven as anything else except a pitching coach.

* Sunday: Jon Weisman deconstructs the Dodgers "tradition" point by point. Think this isn't a big story? His blog posts on the subject have received more than 840 comments in less than twenty-four hours...The columnists: T. J. Simers calls axing DePodesta popular with fans, but says the McCourts should go next. Ross Newhan writes it's all about Lasorda. Steve Dilbeck: "The timing is flat-out strange." Mark Whicker: "The McCourt Jesters are silly putty for an operator like Lasorda." 10:15 am

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