Dodger Blues

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LOS ANGELES: In a period of managerial turmoil in baseball, Tom Lasorda was a mainstay for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now, after 20 years at the helm, the man who bled Dodger Blue is retiring. Lasorda, 68, underwent an angioplasty procedure last month when it was determined he had a heart attack. He was cleared medically to return, but realized it made sense to retire. "For me to get into a uniform again I could not continue," said Lasorda, his voice shaking. "I decided it's best for me and the organization to step down. That's quite a decision." Lasorda, who has spent 47 of his 50 years in pro baseball in the Dodgers organization will remain as a vice president. Bill Russell, who stepped in for Lasorda after the surgery, becomes just the third manager for the Dodgers since 1954. Lasorda and his predecessor Walt Alston are two of only four major league managers ever to spend 20 years or more with one team. In comparison, since Lasorda began his reign as manager, the New York Yankees have made 18 managerial changes. The manager with the longest current tenure is Pittsburgh's Jim Leyland, who joined the Pirates in 1986. Josh Dubow
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