Ned Colletti

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Ned Colletti
NED COLLETTI.jpg
BornNed Louis Colletti, Jr.
Chicago
NationalityUSA
Alma materNorthern Illinois University
OccupationSenior advisor to the President
Years active9
EmployerLos Angeles Dodgers
Home townFranklin Park, Illinois
PredecessorPaul DePodesta
Website
http://mlb.mlb.com/la/community/executives/colletti.html
 
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Ned Colletti
NED COLLETTI.jpg
BornNed Louis Colletti, Jr.
Chicago
NationalityUSA
Alma materNorthern Illinois University
OccupationSenior advisor to the President
Years active9
EmployerLos Angeles Dodgers
Home townFranklin Park, Illinois
PredecessorPaul DePodesta
Website
http://mlb.mlb.com/la/community/executives/colletti.html

Ned Louis Colletti, Jr. is the senior adviser to the president of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was previously the general manager of the Dodgers from 2006 through 2014. Before moving to the Dodgers, he was assistant general manager of the San Francisco Giants.[1]

Colletti graduated from East Leyden High School in Franklin Park, Illinois, and attended Triton College before graduating from Northern Illinois University. He was inducted into the Triton College Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, the same year as the Major League players Kirby Puckett, Lance Johnson and Jeff Reboulet.[2]

In 1982, Colletti began his Major League career with the Chicago Cubs. He worked both in the media relations and baseball operations departments, rising to assume responsibility for key salary arbitration cases and assisting in player acquisitions and salary negotiations. He was a member of the front office when the Cubs won the National League East in 1984 and 1989 and was instrumental in retaining the Hall of Famers Ryne Sandberg and Andre Dawson. Colletti was honored with Major League Baseball's Robert O. Fishel Award for Public Relations Excellence in 1990.[3]

Colletti left the Cubs and joined the front office of the San Francisco Giants in 1994 as director of baseball operations. He was promoted to assistant general manager in October 1996 and spent nine seasons with Brian Sabean forming one of the most successful baseball executive partnerships in the game. Together, Sabean and Colletti led the Giants to an 813-644 record (.558), winning an average of 90.3 games per season. Since then, Colletti has gone on to amass the winningest record of any general manager in the National League, 40 wins better than Sabean, his long-time mentor who remains a friend and staunch competitor.

Career with the Dodgers[edit]

Colletti became the 10th general manager in Los Angeles Dodgers history and the fifth in eight years when he was hired on November 16, 2005.[4]

The Dodgers made the playoffs in five of his first nine seasons from 2006-14. Only one other current National League general manager—John Mozeliak—can claim that level of post-season success. Mozeliak's St.Louis Cardinals went to the playoffs in 2009 and for four consecutive years from 2011 to 2014.

Los Angeles went to the NL Division Series in Colletti's first season in 2006 and reached the National League Championship Series in 2008, 2009, and 2013. The back-to-back appearances in 2008-09 marked the first time the Dodgers had reached the NLCS in consecutive years since 1977-78.[5]

The Dodgers clinched their second consecutive NL West championship and their second consecutive 90-plus win season with a 9-1 win over the rival San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium with three games left in the 2104 campaign.

In the quarter century since the Dodgers' last World Series in 1988, they have won 15 playoff games. Fourteen of those playoff wins came under Colletti (4 in 2008 NLDS/NLCS, 4 in 2009 NLDS/NLCS, 5 in 2013 NLDS/NLCS; 1 in 2014 NLDS ... the only other Dodger post-season win since the 1988 World Series came in the 2004 NL Division Series under then-GM Dan Evans).[6]

Only once in Colletti's first nine seasons did the Dodgers have a losing record. That was in 2010, when Los Angeles finished within a game of .500 at 80-82, despite being financially handcuffed by then owners Frank and Jamie McCourt. The McCourts separated on October 14, 2009,[7] and the break up of their 30-year marriage set in motion two years of legal wrangling and financial scandals that led Major League Baseball to briefly step in and assume control of the Dodgers[8] and eventually forced Frank McCourt to take the team into bankruptcy. Colletti provided stability in the front office and clubhouse while the McCourts alienated so many fans that attendance dropped by nearly 600,000 in 2011, the first time in a decade the that Dodgers had drawn fewer than 3 million customers.[9]

During six of Colletti's first nine seasons, the Dodgers set home attendance records. Discounting the fan protest of 2011, the Dodgers averaged 3,690,027 fans per season in eight of Colletti's nine seasons. The Dodgers led all all Major League Baseball in home and road attendance in 2013 and led, again, in home attendance in 2014 with 3,782,337 fans.[10]

In 2010, under Colletti's leadership, the Dodgers were named Topps Organization of the Year, an honor presented annually to the Major League franchise that has shown most-outstanding performance, depth and talent among its Major and Minor League teams.[11]

In the nine seasons from the start of Colletti's career as general manager through 2014, the Dodgers had a 783-674 (.537) record—the third-best record in the National League. Only the Cardinals (.542) and Phillies (.538) were better. Among NL West teams, the Dodgers' record during that stretch was 40 games better than second-best San Francisco Giants.

Colletti reached 750 wins as a general manager on July 29, 2014, when the Dodgers defeated the Atlanta Braves 3-2 in 10 innings at Dodger Stadium before a crowd of 47,386. Only Buzzie Bavasi reached the 750-win mark faster in Dodger history.[12] His 783 wins from 2006-14 were most among all National League general managers. His .537 winning percentage was the best among NL General Managers during that time period and third best among Dodgers' GMs behind Bavasi .575 and Al Campanis .551.

From June to December 2012, Colletti, with the backing of a new, aggressive ownership team led by Dodgers' president Stan Kasten, owners Mark Walter, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Peter Guber, and Guggenheim Baseball Management, spent more than $600 million to bring a parade of all-star players and prospects to Los Angeles.

The wholesale makeover began in late June when the Dodgers spent $42 million to sign 21-year-old Cuban prospect Yasiel Puig to a six-year deal.

On July 25, Colletti brought in the former National League batting champion Hanley Ramirez as the key to a four-player trade with the Miami Marlins that also brought left-handed reliever Randy Choate to Los Angeles.[13]

Then, in a 10-day stretch, Colletti acquired closer Brandon League[14] from the Seattle Mariners and two veteran additions from the Philadelphia Phillies – the All-Star outfielder Shane Victorino[15] and the starter Joe Blanton.[16]

On August 25, 2012, with the Dodgers three games behind the Giants in the National League West and 1½ games out of the final wild card spot, Colletti completed a nine-player trade that the Los Angeles Times called a "block-buster" and a "stunning development".[17] Key to the deal was the acquisition of four-time All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the Boston Red Sox. But the Dodgers also obtained the four-time All-Star outfielder Carl Crawford, three-time All-Star pitcher Josh Beckett, and respected, switch-hitting utility infielder Nick Punto. The Red Sox received first-baseman James Loney and four prospects, including infielder Iván DeJesús, Jr. and pitcher Allen Webster.

The surprising deal, which the Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy called "the biggest Red Sox trade since Babe Ruth was dealt to the Yankees for cash in 1920",[18] was the talk of baseball for months. But Colletti, Kasten and the Guggenheim group were not finished. After ending the season 86-76, but failing to make the playoffs, the Dodgers were active on the free-agent market, signing starting pitchers Zack Greinke, a former Cy Young winner, and Ryu Hyun-jin,[19] who had been an All-Star in each of his seven seasons in the Korea Baseball Organization from 2006-12. Greinke, who won the Cy Young with Kansas City in 2009, was considered the top free agent on the market during the 2012-13 off-season and provided the Dodgers with what MLB.com called "unprecedented starting pitching depth."[20]

Combined, the eleven players Colletti acquired between June and December 2012 won seven Gold Gloves, four Silver Slugger awards and one Cy Young. They were named to 18 All-Star games, appeared in 42 League Championship games and 29 World Series games before coming to the Dodgers. All were between the prime baseball ages of 25 and 32. None of the pitchers were signed to contracts that would have them pitch for the Dodgers beyond the age of 36.

Even after assembling one of the best teams in baseball in 2013, Colletti and his staff continued to strengthen the roster in July and August, adding a starting pitcher (Ricky Nolasco), three relievers (Carlos Marmol, Edinson Volquez, and Brian Wilson) and veteran hitter Michael Young.[21]

Before the Guggenheim Baseball Group gave Colletti the financial flexibility to pursue top-tier talent, he made a series of notable acquisitions that helped the Dodgers make the playoffs in three of his first six seasons with the club. Among them were: Takashi Saito, Hiroki Kuroda, Juan Pierre, David Wells, Jim Thome, Casey Blake and Manny Ramirez. But not all of his acquisitions were so successful. Colletti was criticized for bringing in several high-priced busts, including Andruw Jones, Jason Schmidt and, for a while, Juan Uribe. Schmidt was injured and only pitched in 10 games for the Dodgers. Jones had one woeful year for the Dodgers in 2008, batting just .158 in 75 games, but rebounded when he left Los Angeles to hit 63 home runs in four more Major League seasons with the Rangers, White Sox and Yankees. Uribe was disappointing his first two seasons, but turned things around dramatically in 2013, playing Gold Glove defense and batting .278 with 12 home runs[22] and five stolen bases to become one of the most valuable players on Colletti's fourth post-season team. Uribe batted .375 in the 2013 NLDS with two home runs, including a two-run, eighth inning blast to the Dodger bullpen that proved to be the Series clincher in a 4-3 win.[23]

Colletti acquired the future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux twice, trading César Izturis to the Chicago Cubs for Maddux at the July 31 deadline in 2006[24] and giving up a pair of minor leaguers to bring Maddux back from the San Diego Padres on August 19, 2008.[25] The Cubs and Padres were the only two teams to trade Maddux during his Hall of Fame career and both times Colletti made the deal, bringing Maddux to the Dodgers.

Colletti's first trade, less than a month after he became general manager, brought two-time All-Star Andre Ethier to the Dodgers from Oakland for Milton Bradley[26] and the infielder Antonio Perez, who was out of baseball the next season.

In addition to bringing in new talent, Colletti has kept the core of his winning teams intact. Between November 2011 and June 2012, he signed the MVP runner-up Matt Kemp,[27] the National League Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw,[28] and Ethier[29] to extended contracts.

Under the Guggenheim ownership group, Colletti made strides rekindling the organization's storied history of international involvement in player acquisition, player development and promoting the game. In addition to signing Puig, Ryu, Saito, Kuroda and Kenley Jansen of Curaçao, the Dodgers established a working arrangement with La Guaira Tiburones,[30] seven-time champions of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League.

On October 14, 2014, he was removed from his position as General Manager of the Dodgers but would remain with them in a new position of Senior Adviser to the President.

National League 2006-2014[edit]

NL West Records 2006-2014
Dodgers783-674.537
Giants743-714.510
Padres705-754.483
Diamondbacks703-755.482
Rockies692-767.474

During Colletti's tenure as GM, the Dodgers compiled the best earned run average, the third-best batting average, and the third-best record in the National League, just six games behind the NL-leading St. Louis Cardinals during a nine-year stretch.

TeamW-LPct.TeamERATeamBA
STL789-668.542LAD3.67STL.268
PHI785-673.538ATL3.75COL.268
LAD783-674.537SFG3.83LAD.264
ATL770-688.528SDP3.83MIL.258
SFG743-714.510STL3.89ATL.258
MIL740-718.508PHI4.00SFG.257
CIN737-721.505NYM4.02NYM.257
NYM727-731.499CIN4.07PHI.257
SDP705-754.483WAS4.10CHC.256
ARZ703-755.482CHC4.16ARZ.254
WAS691-765.475MIA4.18CIN.254
COL692-767.474ARZ4.19WAS.254
MIA680-777.467MIL4.20MIA.254
CHC677-779.465PIT4.30PIT.252
PIT654-803.449COL4.56SDP.245

Combined career as AGM and GM[edit]

Colletti was top front office executive — either an assistant general manager (AGM) or general manager (GM) — continuously from 1997 until 2014 with two clubs, the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. Only five other contemporary GMs[31] served continuously, either as an AGM or a GM, from 1997-2014. Of the six GMs who served continuously for the past 18 seasons as assistant general manager or general manager, only Brian Cashman of the New York Yankees has a higher winning percentage.

Two other current GMs have come close to serving continuously in senior team-building positions. Doug Melvin missed out in 2002 when he served as a special consultant for the Boston Red Sox between stints as the GM of the Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers. Terry Ryan of the Minnesota Twins stepped down as GM after the 2007 to become a senior advisor and resumed his GM duties in 2011.

In the 18 years Colletti has been either an assistant GM or GM, his teams made the playoffs nine times. Four other times his teams were eliminated either on the last day of the season or the second-to-last day of the season.

Active GMs and their records as AGM and/or GM from 1997-2014
Regular Season W-LPct.Playoffs1st PlacePennantsWS Titles
Brian Cashman1729-1183.594141264
Ned Colletti1596-1318.5489810
Brian Sabean1556-1358.5347532
Walt Jocketty1552-1362.5339721
Billy Beane1549-1365.5328600
Doug Melvin *1360-1393.4944300
Terry Ryan **1423-1491.4886600
Dave Dombrowski1396-1519.4796431

Charity and community work[edit]

Colletti is active in several community and charity efforts in Los Angeles. He and the Dodgers have partnered with Guide Dogs of America to sponsor lifelong working partners for the visually impaired. In October 2011, Colletti joined radio personality Peter Tilden and Colletti's fri[32] ends from the band Chicago, who played a benefit concert that raised funds for Guide Dogs of America and the Foundation for Fighting Blindness.[33]

In 2009, Colletti received a Humanitarian Award from A Place Called Home, located in South Central Los Angeles, which provides at-risk youth with a secure, positive environment. Colletti funds six scholarships annual through A Place Called Home and has helped three others graduate. See Fox Sports West report On October 23, 2012, the Los Angeles City College Foundation honored Colletti for his work with youth.[34]

In 2012, Colletti worked with Vicki Santo, widow of Cubs' Hall of Fame legend Ron Santo, to help establish a foundation RonSantoFoundation.com to place service dogs with people suffering from diabetes. The dogs are trained to alert their human partners when their blood sugar is low, helping prevent sudden, unexpected onsets of hypoglycemia that can be devastating. Colletti met Ron Santo in 1964, when he was 10 years old and Ron, a diabetic, but phenomenal All-Star third baseman, was in his fifth season with the Cubs—batting .313 and finishing first in the National League in walks (86), times on base (273), on base percentage (.398), and tied for the league lead in triples (13). Santo was second in the league in RBI (114) that year and second in slugging percentage (.564) while hitting 30 home runs for the Cubs. The young professional baseball player and the 10-year-old future general manager would interact from the stands and the field before many home games, sometimes with Colletti dangling Italian prosciutto from the bleachers to Santo and Santo returning the favor tossing a battered batting practice ball into the stands. The two became lifelong friends until Ron's death December 2, 2010, of bladder cancer complications brought on by the army of drugs used to treat his diabetes.[35] When Colletti was named General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers he was offered any numbered parking spot in the executive area of Dodger Stadium. He passed on nine prime spots to choose parking space No. 10, Santo's retired jersey number, in honor of his lifelong friend.

Colletti also joined the actors Tim Robbins and Helen Mirren to raise more than $100,000 from 2011 to 2013 for Get Lit, a city program designed to provide youth with opportunities to develop an appreciation for literature, writing, reading and poetry.[36]

As an advisory board member of Vision To Learn, Colletti works with the organization founded by Austin Beutner to provide eye examinations and free glasses to poverty-stricken, urban youth in some of the hardest-to-reach communities. Vision To Learn has screened more than 120,000 kids in Los Angeles and Sacramento, provided over 20,000 with eye exams and more than 16,000 with free glasses.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schulman, Harry. "Durham will face challenge". San Francisco Chronicle, February 13, 2008. Retrieved February 13, 2008.
  2. ^ Shaikin, Bill (November 17, 2005). "New Dodger GM Brings Experience To The Plate". Los Angeles Times. 
  3. ^ "Fishel Award". Baseball Almanac. 
  4. ^ Associated Press. "Dodgers hire Colletti for general manager post". Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ Colletti, Ned. "Los Angeles Dodgers Executives". Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  6. ^ Dodgers.com. "Dodgers Post-Season Results". Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ Shaikin and Helene Elliott, Bill. "Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, wife Jamie separate". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  8. ^ Nightengale, Bob (April 20, 2011). "MLB ousts McCourt, takes over Dodgers' day-to-day operations". USA Today. Retrieved April 21, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Los Angeles Dodgers Attendance Records". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  10. ^ ESPN.com. "MLB Attendance". Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Dodgers Named Topps Organization of the Year". dodgers.com. 
  12. ^ "Ned Colletti General Manager". mlb.com. 
  13. ^ Hernandez, Dylan (July 25, 2012). "Dodgers acquire Hanley Ramirez in stunning deal with Marlins". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  14. ^ Angert, Alex. "Dodgers land reliever League from Seattle". MLB.com. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  15. ^ Hernandez, Dylan (July 31, 2012). "Dodgers acquire Shane Victorino". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  16. ^ Markazi, Arash. "Dodgers Acquire Joe Blanton". MLB.com. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  17. ^ Hernandez, Dylan; Steve Dilbeck (August 25, 2012). "Adrian Gonzalez trade completed; a Dodgers-Red Sox blockbuster". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  18. ^ Shaughnessy, Dan (August 25, 2012). "Blockbuster Red Sox trade signifies end of failed era". Boston Globe. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  19. ^ Hernandez, Dylan (December 9, 2012). "Ryu Hyun-jin signs with Dodgers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  20. ^ Gurnick, Ken. "Zack Greinke's six-year deal with Dodgers finalized". MLB.com. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  21. ^ Justice, Richard. "Young gives loaded Dodgers even more options Trade for veteran an example of GM Colletti constantly trying to improve club". MLB.com. 
  22. ^ Baseball-Reference.com. "Juan Uribe Statistics". Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  23. ^ Hernandez, Dylan. "Dodgers defeat Atlanta, win NLDS thanks to the power of Juan Uribe". Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  24. ^ Plunkett, Bill. "Dodgers Trade Izturis for Greg Maddux". Orange County Register. 
  25. ^ Hernandez, Dylan (August 19, 2008). "Dodgers re-arm as Maddux re-ups". Los Angeles Times. 
  26. ^ "Dodgers Send Bradley to Oakland". Associated Press. 
  27. ^ Peltz, Jim. "Dodgers' Matt Kemp signs historic $160-million contract". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  28. ^ Snyder, Matt. "Dodgers, Kershaw agree to two-year contract". CBSsports.com. Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  29. ^ Jackson, Tony. "Source: Andre Ethier agrees to deal". ESPNlosangeles.com. Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  30. ^ Russo, Billy (November 19, 2009). "Dodgers-Tiburones Fusionan Objetivos". El Universal. 
  31. ^ "List of Current Major League Baseball General Managers". Baseball-Reference.com. 
  32. ^ Baseball Referernce. "Ron Santo Player Page". http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/santoro01.shtml. Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  33. ^ Mitchell, Gail. "Backbeat: Chicago Rocks Charity Concert". Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  34. ^ "LACC Foundation 2012 Gala". 
  35. ^ Sullivan, Paul (December 3, 2010). "Ron Santo Dead at 70". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Get Lit Fundraiser: A GIANT SUCCESS". 
  37. ^ http://visiontolearn.org/index.php/who-we-are/leadership
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Paul DePodesta
Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager
2005–2014
Succeeded by
TBA