I’d like to say that this comes as any sort of surprise whatsoever, but, nope. Bill Shaikin:
The Dodgers have opened discussions with Ned Colletti on a long-term contract extension, which could put him in position to become the team’s longest-serving general manager since Al Campanis.
Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter said he did not know the details of the discussions but confirmed a new deal is on the table.
“That’s my understanding,” Walter said.
Look, I’ve probably written more words about how infuriating I’ve found most of Colletti’s moves than I have on any other topic in the five-plus years this blog has been around, except perhaps than I did on Juan Pierre, who was himself a Ned Colletti move. Yet considering how this team is still in the hunt despite years of McCourt mismanagement and Stan Kasten’s track record of having kept Jim Bowden after arriving in Washington, I can’t say this comes as any surprise at all. This team, despite years of McCourt mismanagement, has been surprisingly competitive for most of the year. The fans are returning, interest is picking up, Colletti & Kasten seemingly have a solid working relationship… well, why should we have expected a change?
Well, that’s not totally true. I am, I suppose, a little bit surprised that this might happen before the end of the season, because if a team he built and then spent hundreds of millions of Guggenheim money to upgrade nosedives after spending most of the season in first place, it would have been a lot easier for Kasten and company to install their own people.
I never really bought into the “Colletti was handcuffed by McCourt’s budget troubles!” argument, because this is still the guy who blew well over $100m on misguided signings like Jason Schmidt, Andruw Jones, Juan Uribe, Matt Guerrier, Ted Lilly & Pierre. He’s still the guy who traded away James McDonald (for Octavio Dotel!) & Carlos Santana, and has a crazy fetish for horrible “gritty” veterans like Adam Kennedy, Nick Punto, Mark Sweeney, Aaron Miles, & Ryan Theriot. Still, I will begrudgingly admit that most of the moves we hated last winter have generally worked out – so far at least, until those back-loaded two year deals come back to bite next year – and the recent spate of trades ranged from great to at least defensible – and I honestly can’t imagine the effort that must have gone into the giant Boston deal. Colletti, if still not great, has been at least useful over the last year, and that’s a step up from the days where it was almost certain that the team would be better off if he didn’t even show up for work.
Does that make Ned Colletti the man I want leading this team forward? No, of course not, because I still dream of that forward-thinking Andrew Friedman type, and I’m terrified to see what he does on the open market with this kind of money. But I’ve long been resigned to the fact that he’s not going anywhere, and while that’s disappointing, the lack of surprise makes it less of a downer than you’d think.
Ned Colletti’s going to be here for a long, long time. It’s a fact we’ll need to deal with, sad as that may be. All we can do is hope that the more recent version has learned some lessons from the truly atrocious version we started out with… and that when and if he does make another massive mistake, the Guggenheim pockets are deep enough to buy their way out of it.