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Dodgers: Joe Torre Talks About Why Clayton Kershaw Didn’t Like Him Initially

Hall of Fame manager Joe Torre was at the helm for the Dodgers for only three years (2008-2010). Torre took the Dodgers to their first NLCS in 20 years in year one. He also irked a young lefty named Clayton Kershaw.

In an interview with Jomboy Media, Torre admitted that Kershaw was not happy with him early on.

“He didn’t like me very much early on because I sent him to the minor leagues for one stint after he was up. He was angry at that.”

On May 25th, 2008, Kershaw made his first career start. For you trivia geeks out there, it was a 4-3 victory over the St.Louis Cardinals. Kershaw threw six innings and allowed two runs while striking out seven. It was his only quality start in his first eight games with the Dodgers.

After posting a 4.42 ERA, Torre and the Dodgers sent Kershaw back down to Double-A in early July. He returned the Dodgers a few weeks later. The rest, is history.

Torre, now a Special Assistant to the Commissioner, also noted that many teams tried, and failed, to execute a trade for Kershaw.

“There were a lot of organizations that wanted to trade for Kershaw for significant players. The GM at the time, Ned Colletti, said ‘no,no,no’. Once I saw Kershaw and his stuff and basically his stature and just the way he would dare people…I could see why they wanted to hold him back.”

Unfortunately, the four-time World Series champion manager didn’t drop any names. For now, one can only imagine what players were being offered to Colletti in exchange for a young Clayton Kershaw.

NEXT: The Angels Sign Noah Syndergaard, How Does it Impact Max Scherzer’s Return to the Dodgers?

Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.


  1. Torre created his postseason problems when he threw him out there from the bullpen against the Phillies before he was proven

    1. This gets old, particularly your infantile play on words. Enough already. Torre is in the Hall of Fame as a manager (certainly not as a player); Mattingly is former AL MVP, multiple All-Star and a former NL Manager of the Year; and Roberts has the fifth-highest winning percentage of all MLB managers. If you hate him so much, who would you replace him with? Perhaps Kirk Douglas? Please give it a rest and move on to something productive

      1. Thank you for reading. By the way, Torre didn’t do anything for the Dodgers and if he was the greatest ever, one would think he could have at least won a pennant. Mattingly was a incredible player and was given his managerial positions from his reputation. Managing ? Maybe L.A. was too big for him. Drrrrrrr? Awarded the highest payroll annually and given a bonafide Post season roster built by Ned Coletti . Drrrrr or ANY manager would win with that Roster and Payroll. The real judge of winners are their Championships, and being awarded 280 million or Torre back in the day the highest payroll to do so, is primarily why they faied so well. When Drrrrrrr wins another World Series he will be the 3rd greatest Dodgers manager. So I would replace Drrrr with Mike Scoscia in a heart beat, Dusty Baker if he left Houston, and a few others. But what’s getting OLD Greg is watching Drrrr blow a season because of his inability to play Situational baseball, playing favorites at the expense of the team, and his in game management in the post season. And Greg, something mor4 productive would be to release DRrrrrrr’s….

        1. Spot on Kirk. No one can really dispute that. Torre was great with NY because of the rosters he was provided, once he had to manage a solid but not great Dodgers roster he couldn’t even win a pennant 1 out of 2 times vs PHI. Roberts is even worse, he’s got the yankee type rosters and has managed to be a good manager just one postseason in 2020. If he doesn’t throw game 2 in 2017 they win in 7 despite the cheating, if he doesn’t repeat his same blunder in 2018 they tie the series 2-2 vs Boston. If he doesn’t use Kershaw in game 5 vs WSH with a full bullpen available after Buehler goes 7, they move on… and we all know what he did this postseason.. arguably his worst postseason yet

          1. Yeah Don, it is what it is. Sometimes a manager will make a game blowing decision and we all have to live with it. It wouldn’t be so bad if Drrrrrrr wouldn’t Keep making the same mistakes. That’s primarily the biggest reason I’m convinced he will never win another one. Hence, IMO Dodgers need to move on.

      2. For the record, who are the four managers with a higher winning percentage than Dave Roberts

        1. Joe Mcarthey is the all time World series winner with 7 championships. That would make him the greatest of all time. The real question is what managers lost more World Series than they won. And for the record, Drrrrrr has 1 win and 2 losses, while there are many managers with 1 win. Alston had 4 Rings, Lasorda 2 Drrrrr has 1…For your record…..When someone defines winning, I consider the ONLY winning that matters, the Championships. In the NBA it’s Phil Jackson just for the record…NFL Billicheat…

  2. Torre was a proven winner. Kershaw proved to be e long-term winner. I hope he stays with the Dodgers and loses his injury problems that have damaged his last seasons. I don’t want to see Kershaw in another jersey.

  3. To the guy above who spoke disparagingly of Torre as a player. Uh, .297 lifetime BA for a catcher? 5 seasons of 100+ RBI? In a weak offense era? I’d say at worst, borderline HOF as a player, he was a stud.

    On Kershaw not liking him because he sent him down, I understand both of their positions. Kershaw knew he was going to be good, he had confidence, so he was pi**ed. Torre may have seen great potential, but also saw what he was doing day to day and his job was to win games, not nurture potential.

    Managing, either Baseball or business (the latter I’ve done) isn’t always easy and isn’t a great way to make friends.

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