Dallas — Former Boston Red Sox manager Grady Little was hired Tuesday to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had been without a field boss for more than two months.
The 55-year-old Little received a two-year deal with an option for a third. He beat out Jim Fregosi, John McLaren, Manny Acta and Joel Skinner for the chance to succeed Jim Tracy, who parted ways with the Dodgers on Oct. 3 - the day after the club completed its second-worst season since moving west from Brooklyn in 1958.
With spring training just two months away, the Dodgers are behind every other team in trying to get ready for opening day.
"I feel like we have a long time," he said after being introduced by general manager Ned Colletti and special adviser Tommy Lasorda. "The last job I took on, we had two weeks before opening day."
Ah, yes, the last job.
That would be Little's ill-fated run with the Boston Red Sox from 2002-03, where he compiled a 188-136 record. But he was second-guessed for leaving starting pitcher Pedro Martinez in too long in Game 7 of the '03 AL championship series, which the New York Yankees won in 11 innings.
In the fallout, Little's contract was not renewed. But Red Sox president Larry Lucchino was glad that didn't prevent Little from getting another job.
"I think that's terrific for Grady and wish him great good luck," Lucchino said. "He's not exactly a Hollywood, L.A. type of guy, but he has a kind of versatility that will hold him in good stead."
Little laughed when told of Lucchino's comments.
"Heck, is that the same guy that thought I was going to fit in in New England," he said in his Texas drawl. "I'll probably fit in as well as the ballclub does while I'm running it."