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Top 25 in LA–#20 Ned Colletti


Top 25 Most Important People in Sports in LA Today


-Ned Colletti-

General Manager’s are ultimately measured by the numbers. But Colletti’s GM predecessor Paul DePodesta proved numbers aren’t everything. Rarely though do you examine the man himself. You discuss the men around him that he puts on the field and ships off elsewhere. No matter the measure of success, it is tough to dispute Colletti’s importance to the Dodger’s success in his platform as GM however, and furthermore the impact Dodger’s results have on the city of Los Angeles.

With the combination of results and numbers plus a little bit of the man Ned Colletti checks in at number 20 on our list.

Who’s number 21?

As for the numbers, through this year’s All Star break Colletti had

  • 558-500 record (3rd best in the National League over that time)
  • Made the playoffs 3 times in 6 seasons including
  • Back to back trips to the NLCS in ‘08 and ’09.

Stumbling around the internet it is not hard to find harsh criticism for almost ALL of Colletti’s deals in his tenure. Colletti has less deals in recent memory like other Dodger GM’s who shopped players like Paul Konerko and Pedro Martinez out of town for players who might as well have been Little Leaguers (Jeff Shaw and Delino Deshields?)

The Dodgers best players during are their young talent acquired and developed in the minors—Kemp, Ethier, Kershaw, Loney. Well, you can’t argue with the first three. They were not free agent acquisitions. But Colletti doesn’t seem to be replacing that talent. Colletti has sent away All Star’s James McDonald and Carlos Santana for players in their late thirties. And baseball prospectus says

"There’s certainly pitching here, but it’s more quantity than quality, and the organization is wafer-thin when it comes to positional prospects at the upper level."

Hired in November 2005, less than one month in to Ned Colletti’s tenure as GM, he traded away Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez to the A’s for Andre Ethier. And in his first draft he drafted defending Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw. Matt Kemp was drafted before he was hired.

More recently Colletti has closed deals bringing back Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier to Chavez Ravine, and most recently traded for 2009 NL batting champion shortstop Hanley Ramirez as well as sign young unproven Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig and added Shane Victorino with his contract which expires at the end of the year. He’s been busy.

This distracts from the signings of veteran utility players that Colletti has given big money to. Yes we mean you Juan Uribe. At least if he had taken performance enhancers he’d at least have to miss 50 games due to suspension, if not have any production beforehand.

Regardless of the level of success and viability of every move, Colletti has not shied away from upgrading the Dodgers roster today. That counts for something. And he has had the backing of the ownership (even when it was Mc-Screwed) and especially with the new ownership now to be pro-active.

And if nothing else, the man is a cool guy. Seriously there are these pictures of him getting a tattoo at True Blue La Tattoos in Hollywood, and in his interviews (like this one with Tom Hoffarth) he appears candid enough. He’s not from LA, in fact he came from the Giants previously. But the six year tenured GM has done a decent enough job, and his position is bolstered by talent on the field.

The Dodgers have such a pivotal role in the image of LA, and the success of it as a sports city. The Dodgers are a historic franchise and the Dodgers being good is good for baseball. And Ned Colletti has the last say before you get on the field for how good the Dodgers franchise are, and that’s why he is one of the most important people in sports in LA today.

And # 19 is . . .