Ted Lilly and Octavio Dotel have played for Torre, and Ryan Theriot said he couldn't wait for the chance, which he would get in a few hours as the Dodgers' new starting second baseman, taking the job of Blake DeWitt, who was sent with two Minor Leaguers to the Cubs on Saturday for Theriot and Lilly.
Torre told Lilly he would start Tuesday against the Padres, a long-delayed fulfillment of a dream that began for Lilly when the Dodgers drafted him in 1996. Lilly suffered from lack of run support with the Cubs and was 3-8 with a 3.69 ERA. He is 0-2 with a 9.20 ERA lifetime at Dodger Stadium.
"I consider myself fortunate to get the chance and come back and play for the Dodgers," said Lilly. "It's really cool. I was traded July 31 for Carlos Perez. That was really tough. As a youngster, I was devastated to be traded from the Dodgers. My dream was to come up and pitch for the Dodgers. It took me 14 years, but I get my chance."
Lilly explained why Torre has the reputation he does.
"When you talk to players that have played for him over the years, I haven't ever come across a player that ever had a negative thing to say or a bad experience playing for him," said Lilly. Not only does he have the reputation of a great manager, but he's also a great person. I have a lot of respect for him."
Dotel, comfortably conversing with the group of Latin Dodgers as soon as he arrived, said he was fine moving from closer with the Pirates to a setup role with the Dodgers.
"I accept the role," he said. "Maybe not Mariano [Rivera]. It would be hard for him. He's not a setup guy. I don't think it will be hard. I'd like to know what inning I pitch, but I don't know if that will happen here.
"I understand this guy [closer Jonathan Broxton] is really, really good, this is his house, his place. I hold the game and hand the ball to him. I'm not fighting with the manager; I come here to help."
Dotel, who pitched briefly for Torre with the Yankees, said he sensed he'd be moved.
"I kind of know the game," he said. "I knew something was going to come and in the last five minutes, boom, and I'm here now."
Dotel did suggest that he might not be a good choice to pitch against the Brewers in Milwaukee later this month. He's allowed 10 earned runs in 6 2/3 innings against Milwaukee, nine earned runs in 33 1/3 innings against everyone else.
"Those guys are killing me, oh my God," he said. "I hope I don't pitch over there."
Theriot said he got the news of his trade watching television after trying to ignore the rumors that heated up as Saturday's Trade Deadline approached.
"It was kind of a shock, but I've played against these guys for years," he said. "I don't have to hit Clayton [Kershaw] or Broxton. That's a plus."
Shifted from shortstop to second base only six weeks ago, he said he also played the position in 2007.
"Obviously it's different," he said. "It's not like I've never been there. The footwork is totally opposite."
He said he's eager to play for Torre.
"To play for a manager like Joe is a wonderful thing," he said. "It's exciting to be part of this organization with its storied tradition."