The Ned Colletti Tenure Was Filled With Ups And Downs
By Scott Andes
The Ned Colletti regime has been filled with ups and downs. Highs and lows, you could say peaks and valleys have peppered Colletti’s tenure. Despite this when looking back on Collett’s nine-year credentials as Dodger’s general manager I think I would rate old snake boots as a good general manager. Not a great GM, but pretty solid.
Many people wanted to see Colletti fired years ago. It seemed like it was popular to hate on Colletti and blame him for everything. But before you start celebrating Colletti’s departure, consider this the Dodgers have made 5 playoff appearances and won four division titles under Colletti’s term. The Dodgers have had three 90+ win seasons and made three NLCS appearances with Colletti as GM. Colletti has been around for everything over the last decade.
Ned has been through three Dodger managers in his time. He worked with Grady Little, Joe Torre, and now Don Mattingly. When Colletti first took over the job in winter of 2005 the Dodgers were run very differently than they are now. Former owner Frank McCourt’s cheapness handcuffed Colletti throughout the years limiting him to paltry spending thresholds.
In 2006 Colletti was the GM when the Dodgers were coming off of a dreadful fourth place finish. The major league roster was in shambles, so the Dodgers had to call up a large group of young players that would shape the club’s core for the next five years. Players like Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton, Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, and James Loney were all starters during the Dodgers back-to-back division winning clubs.
Andre Ethier was acquired via trade from the A’s for malcontent Milton Bradley. Colletti may have not drafted some of the players above, but he was there for their development from high ranked prospects to major league stars. Later that year Colletti would draft Clayton Kershaw.
Colletti had his fair share of downs during his reign. The high priced contracts to Bums like Andruw Jones, Jason Schmidt, Juan Pierre, and Brandon League have haunted him over the years. Although Colletti has had just as many good signings as bad. He inked the versatile Jamey Carroll, talented Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig, and the clutch Justin Turner.
Colletti got value for failed prospect Trayvon Robinson by getting us Tim Federowicz, and pitcher Stephen Fife. Colletti shocked the world by making the blockbuster deal with the Red Sox, acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and unforgettable Nick Punto. He signed Zack Greinke, and Hyun-jin Ryu.
My most memorable memory of Colletti will always be when he acquired slugger Manny Ramirez just minutes before the trade deadline in 2008. Manny’s power bat was instrumental in those back-to-back division championship clubs. It didn’t work out in the end with the controversial slugger, but Manny still gave the Dodgers what they needed for two plus years, a big thumper in the middle of their order. The guy hit like 396 in his first year with the Dodgers.
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But for every Manny Ramirez, there was a Jason Schmidt, or a Ryan Theriot, or a Garret Anderson. For every Russell Martin there was a Ramon Hernandez, or an Aaron Harang, or a Chris Perez. Colletti’s penchant for handing out expensive contracts for aging veterans cost him in the end.
What these Colletti haters should know is that he is a kind and decent man. His kindness that he showed for our late senior writer Kenny Shulsen was beyond what a normal GM does. Colletti invited Kenny to spring training and even gave him his personal cell phone number. It’s hard to find that type of generosity in a baseball executive these days.
Yes Colletti built some bad bullpens over the years, but the Dodgers always had decent clubs under him. The Dodgers never won less than 80 games in Ned’s nine seasons. He finished with a 783-674 record as Dodger’s general manager. That comes out to a .537 winning percentage.
But that’s the thing. While Colletti was able to build good, competitive ball clubs over the years, none of them could get over the hump. None of them were championship caliber clubs. They were good clubs, but not great. That has also marred him throughout his career.
Which is why it’s time for a change. The Dodgers have a good team, but they need a guy who can build them a great team. A team capable of getting over that hump. The goal should be a world series. Nothing else will quench our thirst.
When the Dodgers hired Andrew Friedman as head of Baseball operations they decided to move Colletti into another role as senior advisor to Stan Kasten. This new role will allow Colletti to stay with the front office, and the Dodgers can take advantage of Colletti’s experience.
Colletti is a good Baseball guy. He’s been in Baseball for 33 years. Colletti is a good man, and deserving of respect. It’s time for a change, and I am happy the Dodgers are moving forward, but let’s not be disrespectful to Ned’s time here. I’ve cursed him quite a few times over the years, but the Dodgers are fortunate to have a kind and passionate at the helm. he’s always been a wheeler and dealer, but he couldn’t get the club over the hump. That’s why the Dodgers are moving on.
I think when you look back on it, Colletti has made just as many good deals as he has bad deals. The club has never been terrible under him, and they’ve always been competitive. All I’m asking is you give Ned a break. Here’s to a crazy nine years Ned. It’s been one hell of a ride.
We wish Ned Colletti the best of luck in his new role with the Dodgers.