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.