Ned Colletti

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Ned Colletti
NED COLLETTI.jpg
BornNed Louis Colletti, Jr.
Chicago
NationalityUSA
Alma materNorthern Illinois University
OccupationGeneral Manager
Years active7 1/2
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
OccupationGeneral Manager
Years active7 1/2
EmployerLos Angeles Dodgers
Home townFranklin Park, Illinois
PredecessorPaul DePodesta
Website
http://mlb.mlb.com/la/community/executives/colletti.html

Ned Louis Colletti, Jr. is General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the winningest active GM in the National League the past eight seasons. He previously served as Assistant General Manager for the San Francisco Giants.[1]

Colletti graduated from East Leyden High School in Franklin Park, Illinois and Northern Illinois University. He attended Triton College before graduating from NIU and was inducted into the Triton College Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, the same year Major League players Kirby Puckett, Lance Johnson and Jeff Reboulet were enshrined.[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 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 in his nine seasons working side-by-side with Brian Sabean, the Giants had a 813-644 record (.558), winning an average of 90.3 games per season. In 2013, his eighth season with the Dodgers, Colletti had more wins than any active General Manager in the National League.

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 Nov. 16, 2005. [4]

The Dodgers made the playoffs four of his first eight seasons from 2006-13. Only two other current National League GMs -- John Mozeliak and Walt Jocketty -- could claim that level of post-season success. Mozeliak's St.Louis Cardinals went to the playoffs in 2008 and three consecutive years from 2011-13. Jocketty won the NL Championship with St. Louis in 2006 and took the Cincinnati Reds to the playoffs in 2010, 2012, and 2013.

Los Angeles went to the NL Division Series in Colletti's first season in 2006 and reached the National League Championship Series in 2008 and 2009 for the first time since 1977-78.[5] The Dodgers became the first Major League team to clinch a spot in the 2013 post-season when they came from behind to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 at Chase Field in Phoenix on Sept. 19, 2013 -- with still nine games to play in the regular season.[6]

The Dodgers defeated the Atlanta Braves 3 games to 1 in the 2013 National League Division Series, earning their third trip to the National League Championship Series in six years (2008, 2009, 2013). In the quarter century since the Dodgers' last World Series in 1988, they have won 14 playoff games. Thirteen of those playoff wins came under Colletti (4 in 2008 NLDS/NLCS, 4 in 2009 NLDS/NLCS, 5 in 2013 NLDS/NLCS; the only other Dodger post-season win since the 1988 World Series came in the 2004 NL Division Series under then-GM Dan Evans).[7]

Only once in Colletti's first eight seasons did the Dodgers have a losing record. That was in 2010, when the Dodgers finished within a game of .500 at 80-82, despite being financially handcuffed by then owners Frank and Jamie McCourt. The McCourts separated on Oct. 14, 2009,[8] and the breakup 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[9] 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 Dodgers had drawn fewer than 3 million customers.[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]

The Dodgers' 689-606 (.532) record from 2006 through 2013, was fourth best among National League teams behind only the Phillies (.549) and Cardinals (.540), And Atlanta Braves (.533). Among NL West teams, the Dodgers' record was 34 games better than second-best San Francisco Giants.

Colletti reached 600 wins as a General Manager on April 6, 2013, when Clayton Kershaw outdueled A.J. Burnett of the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 at Dodger Stadium. Kershaw also pitched Colletti's 500th win as GM of the Dodgers on September 9, 2011, beating Tim Lincecum and the Giants 2-1 in San Francisco. Only Buzzie Bavasi reached the 600-win mark faster in Dodger history.[12]

Since Colletti took over the Dodgers in November 2005, no active general manager in the National League has won more games.

Active NL GM Wins 2006-2013
Ned Colletti689Dodgers
Walt Jocketty661Reds *
Doug Melvin658Brewers
Brian Sabean655Giants
Dan O'Dowd626Rockies
Frank Wren612Braves
Kevin Towers571Diamondbacks **
John Mozeliak538Cardinals
Josh Byrnes501Padres ***
Michael Hill454Marlins ****
Ruben Amaro, Jr.446Phillies
Neal Huntington429Pirates
Mike Rizzo392Nationals
Jed Hoyer288Cubs *****
Sandy Alderson225Mets

National League 2006-2013[edit]

During Colletti's tenure, the Dodgers have compiled the best Earned Run Average, the third-best Batting Average, and fourth-best win-loss record in the National League, just 1 1/2 games back of the third-best Atlanta Braves.

TeamW-LPct.TeamERATeamBA
PHI712-584.549LAD3.71STL.270
STL699-596.540ATL3.79COL.267
ATL691-605.533SFG3.87LAD.264
LAD689-606.532SDP3.89ATL.259
CIN661-635.510STL3.94NYM.259
MIL658-638.508PHI4.02MIL.259
SFG655-640.506NYM4.08PHI.259
NYM648-648.500CIN4.13CHI.258
ARZ639-657.493ARZ4.19SFG.258
SDP628-669.484CHC4.19CIN.256
COL626-671.483WAS4.23ARZ.255
CHC604-690.467MIA4.24MIA.254
MIA603-692.466MIL4.27WAS.254
WAS595-699.460PIT4.41PIT.251
PIT566-729.437COL4.52SDP.248

Key acquisitions[edit]

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 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 – All-Star outfielder Shane Victorino[15] and starter Joe Blanton.[16]

On August 25, 2012, with the Dodgers three games behind the Giants in the National League West and 1 1/2 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 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 weren’t done. After finishing 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 11 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 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 Aug. 19, 2008.[25]

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 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 MVP runner-up Matt Kemp,[27] National League Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw,[28] and Ethier[29] to extended contracts.

International[edit]

Under the Guggenheim ownership group, Colletti has 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.

From 2008–10, the Dodgers played the first-ever Major League exhibition in China,[31] hosted the finals of the World Baseball Classic[32] and traveled to Taiwan to play a two-city tour against a team of All-Stars from the Chinese Professional Baseball League.[33]

The Dodgers are scheduled to open the 2014 Major League season with two games in Sydney, Australia, against the Arizona Diamondbacks.[34] The Dodgers will be the "visiting" team in those games to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Combined career as AGM and GM[edit]

Colletti has been a top front office executive—either an Assistant General Manager or General Manager—continuously since 1997 with two clubs, the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. Only seven other current GMs[35] have served continuously, either as an AGM or a GM, from 1997-2013. Of the eight current GMs who have served continuously for the past 17 seasons as Assistant General Manager or General Manager, only Brian Cashman of the New York Yankees has a higher winning percentage.

Three 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. Kevin Towers spent the 2010 season as a special assistant to Cashman in New York between reigns as GM in San Diego and Arizona.

In the 17 years Colletti has served either as an Assistant GM or General Manager, his teams have made the playoffs eight 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.

Current GMs in 2013 and their records building winners as AGM and/or GM from 1997-2013
Regular Season W-LPct.Playoffs1st PlacePennantsWS Titles
Brian Cashman1645-1106.598141264
Ned Colletti1502-1250.5468710
Frank Wren1486-1266.54010711
Walt Jocketty1476-1276.5369721
Brian Sabean1468-1284.5336532
Billy Beane1461-1291.5317600
Terry Ryan *13523-1399.4926600
Doug Melvin **1278-1313.4934300
Kevin Towers***1273-1320.4914410
Dan O'Dowd1335-1419.4855310
Dave Dombrowski1306-1447.4744332

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 friends from the band Chicago, who played a benefit concert that raised funds for Guide Dogs of America and the Foundation for Fighting Blindness.[36]

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. See Fox Sports West report On Oct. 23, 2012, the Los Angeles City College Foundation honored Colletti for his work with youth.[37]

Colletti also joined actors Tim Robbins and Helen Mirren to raise nearly $70,000 in 2011 and 2012 for Get Lit, a city program designed to provide youth with opportunities to develop an appreciation for literature, writing, reading and poetry.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schulman, Harry. Durham will face challenge. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 13, 2008.
  2. ^ Shaikin, Bill. "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 3 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Colletti, Ned. "Los Angeles Dodgers Executives". Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Dilbeck, Steve. "Dodgers complete turnaround, win NL West on A.J. Ellis homer, 7-6". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  7. ^ Dodgers.com. "Dodgers Post-Season Results". Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  8. ^ Shaikin and Helene Elliott, Bill. "Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, wife Jamie separate". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 October 2009. 
  9. ^ Nightengale, Bob. "MLB ousts McCourt, takes over Dodgers' day-to-day operations". USA Today. Retrieved 21 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "Los Angeles Dodgers Attendance Records". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "Dodgers Named Topps Organization of the Year". dodgers.com. 
  12. ^ "Ned Colletti General Manager". mlb.com. 
  13. ^ Hernandez, Dylan (25 July 2012). "Dodgers acquire Hanley Ramirez in stunning deal with Marlins". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  14. ^ Angert, Alex. "Dodgers land reliever League from Seattle". MLB.com. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  15. ^ Hernandez, Dylan (31 July 2012). "Dodgers acquire Shane Victorino". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  16. ^ Markazi, Arash. "Dodgers Acquire Joe Blanton". MLB.com. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  17. ^ Hernandez, Dylan; Steve Dilbeck (25 August 2012). "Adrian Gonzalez trade completed; a Dodgers-Red Sox blockbuster". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  18. ^ Shaughnessy, Dan (25 August 2012). "Blockbuster Red Sox trade signifies end of failed era". Boston Globe. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  19. ^ Hernandez, Dylan (9 December 2012). "Ryu Hyun-jin signs with Dodgers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  20. ^ Gurnick, Ken. "Zack Greinke's six-year deal with Dodgers finalized". MLB.com. Retrieved 15 January 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 9 October 2013. 
  23. ^ Hernandez, Dylan. "Dodgers defeat Atlanta, win NLDS thanks to the power of Juan Uribe". Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  24. ^ Plunkett, Bill. "Dodgers Trade Izturis for Greg Maddux". Orange County Register. 
  25. ^ Hernandez, Dylan. "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 18 November 2011. 
  28. ^ Snyder, Matt. "Dodgers, Kershaw agree to two-year contract". CBSsports.com. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  29. ^ Jackson, Tony. "Source: Andre Ethier agrees to deal". ESPNlosangeles.com. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  30. ^ Russo, Billy. "Dodgers-Tiburones Fusionan Objetivos". El Universal. 
  31. ^ MacLeod, Calum. "Padres Top Dodgers as MLB Wraps China Series". USA Today. 
  32. ^ Shaikin, Bill. "It'll Be Dodgers' World". Los Angeles Times. 
  33. ^ Huang, Paul. "LA Dodgers Thump Taiwan All-Stars". Taipei Times. 
  34. ^ Hernandez, Dylan. "Dodgers, Diamondbacks to open 2014 season in Australia". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  35. ^ "List of Current Major League Baseball General Managers". Baseball-Reference.com. 
  36. ^ Mitchell, Gail. "Backbeat: Chicago Rocks Charity Concert". Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  37. ^ "LACC Foundation 2012 Gala". 
  38. ^ "Get Lit Fundraiser: A GIANT SUCCESS". 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Paul DePodesta
Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager
2005–present
Succeeded by
current