Don’t let anyone tell’s Ken Gurnick that February 18 is far too early for an April Fool’s joke (link swiped from Dodger Thoughts).

Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda will manage the Dodgers again.Lasorda, 80, will take over the split squad left behind in Florida when new manager Joe Torre takes another squad to China for a goodwill series in Beijing against the Padres on March 14-15.

A team official confirmed that Lasorda will manage eight exhibition games beginning with a March 11 game against Florida at Holman Stadium. Lasorda’s squad is expected to include regulars Jeff Kent, Rafael Furcal, Juan Pierre, Russell Martin, Matt Kemp, James Loney and all of the starting rotation.

I remain hopeful the Yankees will follow suit by asking Stump Merrill to manage, pitch and hit cleanup in some Grapefruit League games, if only to distract the assembled news media from reducing Andy Pettitte to tears.