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Say it isn't so: Are Dodgers GM Ned Colletti's Giants roots still running strong?

Colletti_350 It’s an easy thing to say, and almost funny, if it weren’t actually so uncomfortably disturbing.

Really, there could be worse things for a Dodgers fan to imagine, though it would take some effort.

But here is the fear: The man whose job it is to make the Dodgers a winner, secretly loves the San Francisco Giants.

And Magic Johnson hangs a Celtics banner in his family room.

Still, like a good conservative conspiracy theory, the view is out there: Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti actually bleeds orange and black.

Colletti, of course, was an assistant GM with the Giants to Brian Sabean before being hired to direct the Dodgers. Some team followers will never get past that.

Colletti has brought a few Giants to the Dodgers, from trainer Stan Conte to pitching disaster Jason Schmidt to this past offseason’s Juan Uribe.

Then there is this -- his son, Lou, is a scout for the Giants. Worse, maybe, is this quote Colletti gave John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle in December on the Giants capturing the World Series:

"I've got to admit, I had tears in my eyes when they won. I had tears in my eyes when they beat Philly (in the NLCS) because we had been there the last two years. I knew how tough it was. I knew what they were up against. When they beat Texas, same thing. It was a very emotional time for me."

Said Sabean to Shea: "He'll always be a Giant, and he'll always be a dear friend."

That can’t warm the cockles of hearts that bleed blue.

Ask Colletti if the Giants’ organization has served as his role model over the years and you have to wait for his initial reaction to subside before he answers.

"I guess now it would be OK to be like them?" Colletti asked, laughing. "I don’t know. I think that one of the similarities between Brian and myself is finding as many players who love to play and want to play it the right way. I don’t know that we’ve brought in more Giants than any other team."

He hasn’t, actually. But if you’re a Dodgers fan, it’s one thing to sign a couple of Indians or Pirates, and something else to bring in a player reeking of garlic fries.

"It doesn’t matter to me where they come from," Colletti said. "It matters to me is who they are and how they play. We tried to get Uribe before he went to San Francisco. Him going to San Francisco has nothing to do with him being here now."

Colletti spent 11 years with the Giants, so something naturally had to rub off. Yet he doesn’t think that makes him unique in the type of players he tries to add to the Dodgers.

"With character, with a hard-nosed edge to them," he said. "Not everybody has it, but that is a similar trait that Sabean is always cognizant of, and so am I. That doesn’t make us different than any other team. I think a lot of teams would tell you the same thing."

It’s just that a lot of teams aren’t the San Francisco Giants.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers GM Ned Colletti. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (51)

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Sure, there's going to be crackpots out there who'll claim that Colletti is actually sabotaging the Dodgers. These people need to get a life. Colletti has made more than his share of bonehead moves, but he didn't have wrecking the Dodgers in mind. This is his first job as a GM. I'm certain he wants to do the best job he can, even if he's not perfect. Besides, the real villain around here is you-know-who.
He claims to bleed Dodger blue, while his mind is only on green; and I'm not talking ecology here. Boo him.

Normally, I would say "there's plenty of room if you want to jump on the Giants' bandwagon." But to all Dodgers fans (and staff), I say this: "Bite me."

Well, to be brief, seems most Junts fans suffer from the same side effects as Bonds...when it come game balls they show up with a box Grape Nuts instead. Perhaps it is the garlic fries?

But I could see Ned being proud of the guys up north, I mean one day soon he is gonna need a new job.

Ned spent majority of his time in the Giants organization. So what that he has ties with his old mates. We as Dodger fans are LUCKY to have hime as a GM. He has done an exellent job here- especially when has had horrible owner that have vetoed trade deals and has had limited budgets the past few years. Ned keep up the good work!

I'm not a Coletti hater. He just annoys me. And confounds me. I think most of his trades have been above avg. I'm in the camp that feels the Blake trade was necessary to win the division in 08'. People forget we were slumping(had lost 6 in a row?) when we got Blake. He came in and won about 3 or 4 games in the first week alone. With out him in July 08' we might not be close enough to pull the trigger on Manny and even if we did Manny might not have been enough. Exactly what has Santana done the last couple of yrs in Clev.? A few good mos.? No garauntees in this game. Dotel was just plain bad. But i can't think of another trade where our club wasn't improved. Getting Lilly last year was a quiet masterpiece. We don't sign him this year without the trade and we picked up a real plus arm for the future in Hawksworth as a direct result. The only time he hurts the club is when he signs people and that's a big only. Not just Schmidt and Jones (Pierre signing has been and will be debated in this blog for yrs) it's the little ones that kill us. He probably fights with his wife at home alot over his hoarding tendencies. I can only imagine the crap he's got in his garage blocking the walkways like he blocks our farm products. Everyone knocks our farm system lately but how can we know if they don't get a chance to play because so many marginal vets are piled up in Glad bags and boxes blocking their way.

Ned was crying because the Giants won the World Series! Go ahead and kick his derriere Tommy!!

Ned is a mediocore GM. He will probably never get another GM position, unless it is with the Giants. He should shed some tears about how the Dodgers are not competitive against the best teams! That's truly sad, over 22 years and nothing to show for it, sad, sad!

I'll bet Ned has never burned a bridge in his life.

once they brought in a giant and yankee to the organization i knew it was an end of a era, what rivalry, what traditions are left, what a shame this from a (real Dodger Fan) if you disagree you don't know Dodger Blue

Noooooooo! Look's like Agent Ned's cover is starting to get blown. Keep it up Ned! 2010 World Series CHAMPIONS! GO GIGANTES!

I remember No Head Ned strolling around the real Dodgertown in beautiful Vero Beach when the Dodgers had spring training there, and showing off his 2002 Giants pennant ring. He said maybe some day he'd win one for the Dodgers. Well that day hasn't arrived & it doesn't look it will be anytime soon. I had told him it was disgraceful for him to be wearing anything Giants on the hollowed Dodgertown grounds where the ghosts of Jackie, Pee Wee, Campy, Gil, etc. reined. But that is nothing in comparision to how McCrap has disgraced this once proud and honorable organization.

The trades have generally followed the pattern of giving up too many guys who aren't likely to make it to get guys who don't contribute much. The free agent signings are a little better. But what I'd really like to see is cash being spent on the international front: finding prospects in the Dominican, Mexico, Venezuela, etc. I know the competition is fierce there, but we're not competing enough. I'd rather see money spent there that on Gwynn, Kapler, MacDougal. Our farm system isn't in the state it's in because we have too many retreads in the way, it's because we haven't found and signed talented guys.

NP Krohn is the voice of reason. Colletti doesn't deserve bashing. He's made a few big mistakes but who hasn't? He should have a big budget - then the mistakes could be swept under the rug. Big Dodger problem has been farm system the last few years. If that turns around we could be good. Add 20-30 million a year and we'll be good for sure, with Colletti, he ain't that bad all you haters.

We seem to be forgetting that if Manny had been able to maintain his testosterone level the Dodgers would have been way way better for the last two years. Not Colletti's fault, not even the owner's fault,

Ned does his best but alas he will only ever be a #2 guy. He personifies the Peter Principle which suggests that you rise to your level of incompetence. Ned has risen. He wants so badly to be just like his mentor Brian Sabean. It will never happen. McCourt doesn't need a #1...only a number #2. Frank only needs for Ned to keep flapping his arms while Frank pats the fans on the back with one hand and picks their pocket with the other. And Ned is flapping like a son of a gun!

I knew we were screwed when he wore his 2002 WS Giant runner up pinky ring to his intro press conference.

After this article I list some respect for Ned. That's what retirement Is for he can shed tears once he's done atleast with the dodgers. We hate the giants and they sure as hell hate us..

Rick when you give 20 million to a one way player, who was 37 then you get what you deserve. When the Braves don't even care about signing someone who had been a WS hero for them at age 19 and played with them for 10 years declining each year and then you sign him for 18 million a season you get what you deserve. Jason Schmidt did what exactly for the Giants to not consider even giving him an offer (good citizen, good pitcher) and Ned gave him 15 million a season for 3 years ?? Not one team in baseball would pay Juan Pierre 5 years and 55 million. He gave Kent a two year extension at age 37 for no reason. And the list can get much longer but I don't have the time.

Nice article, Steve, It strikes very close to home.
I often wonder how these professionals go from team to team. I know I could never do it. I've rooted for one team all my life, since 1948, 62 years as of last October. Through thick and thin even though they moved out of Brooklyn to Los Angeles.
It's easy to see these guys are in it for the money with no loyalty. I guess it can't be done any other way.
I cried too when the Giants won it all. I cried because we couldn't do it. I felt almost the same in 1954.

Ned's about as lousy a GM as they come, maybe worse. For all those that say Ned's never had a budget to work with, please allow me to recap the "talent" Ned's brought in when Frank HAD money:
Bad Knees Bill Mueller (2 years, $9.5 mil) Played 5 1/2 weeks.
Nomar II (2 years $19.5 mil) Played in 176 games in 2 seasons.
Jason Schmidt ($47 mil) Knew he had a bad shoulder, signed him anyway.
Andruw Jones ($36.2 mil) Couldn't have possibly gained all that weight and grown a golfball sized wart from the time they signed him to the opening of spring training. How did this guy pass a physical?
Juan Pierre ($44 mil) lost his fulltime starters job year 2
Aging Manny Ramirez ($45 mil) took a 50 game vacation one season, didn't play but 66 games last year. C'mon, the guy was 36 (or was it 37?) when they re-signed him and no way was he going to put up numbers like he did in 08
These guys alone wasted over $200 million. I'm sure there's 2-3 star in-their-prime players in that $200, not to mention all the other dubious contracts like Furcal, whom never plays a full season, and Kuroda who usually lands on the DL at least once a season (but I let these slide because when they play they're relatively good), plus all of the other junkers he's signed like Sweeney and Anderson when he had better, younger and cheaper players available.
It would be less time-consuming if I'd list the good trades and signings. Plain and simple, the man cannot recognize nor evaluate talent. Ned shouldn't be in charge of dog catching, let alone a major league ballclub.
Put him together with a worthless owner and is it any wonder why things are the way they are?

We've got to admit it.
We had tears in our eyes, too, when we heard Ned still had a parking space at Dodger Stadium.

It's almost as bad as having managers from the Yankees.

If I were the Dodgers I would get rid of Colletti. I wouldn't trust him. He has made a lot of horrible trades. He got rid of a lot of good minor league players. Bye, bye Colletti!

I hate having anything to do with the Giants. I remember when the Dodgers got Sal Maglie from the Giants. He was an excellent pitcher buy I always felt uneasy about him being on the team. I remember when Durocher left the manager's job of the Dodgers for the same role for the Giants. I wrote him off forever. Jackie Robinson was already a hero of mine but when he refused to be traded to the Giants and retired instead he earned my eternal gratitude. Watching Bobby Thomsen's can of corn slip into the left field seats at the Polo Grounds was enough to make anything Giant absolutely repulsive forever.

Was it Ned who taught the Dodgers how to quit midway through the season? I wonder how early it will be this year.

THAT'S IT! I'M THROUGH WITH THE DODGERS! I taking my money to Anaheim. 40 years down the drain. I'll still listen to Vin, but the sanctity of Dodger Stadium has been breached. Somewhere in Brooklyn, an old gypsy is smiling.

Wow, good to see the Drama and conspiracy theories flying around even before the season starts!!

agreements with S'58 that of course he's not sabotaging the Dodgers

And agreement with skyharbor completely

He wants to do well, but we need a better GM, especially in light of our owners. Well, strike that. We just need a better front office overall, and Flanders isn't part of that plan.

Thanks McCourt for ignoring the Dodgers legacy. Bring in a Yankee to be manager and pair him with a Giants GM.

Frank, SELL THE TEAM. Pay off your ex-wife and go spend whatever millions you have left. The sooner you are out of LA the better.

Many of us said this when he came here. It's a little late now, you think? Colletti should have been indicted for fraud in the Jason Schmidt debacle. The record will show he knew he had an injury, signed him anyway because he was his friend and then glossed over the physical. When is it enough of Ned Colletti?

Oops. Steve now you're slip is showing. Why make comments like this, "like a good conservative conspiracy theory," when you know the liberals have just as many conspiracy theories of their own?

Come on, lets keep it between the lines.

Jack, and a few of you others, would have been really comfortable in Nazi Germany.
If you aren't a pure Dodger (Aryan), you're a subhuman threat to the State and must be done away with.
God knows, the sacredness of the Dodgers uniform must not be sullied by people who come from other organizations. Only pure bred Dodgers shold be employed in Chavez Ravine. God forbid we get a Yankee or a Jint.

I don't think Ned's trying to sabotage the Dodgers on behalf of the Giants; I just think he tends to look to his old organization for players, and to pay more attention to them than most teams.

Also, he's learned most of his "winning ways" from working for the Giants. Despite their championship this year on the backs of excellent rookies like Buster Posey, I don't think that the Giants model when Ned was there was necessarily a recipe for success.

Tears in his eyes when the Gnats won the Series? That will be quite enough, thank you very much. We all know which way Neddy leans, but why can't he keep his mouth shut? Isn't it bad enough we have to endure an orange and black World Series win? Do we have to listen to our own GM get all nostalgic an mushy over it?!? Give me an airsick bag!

Look, whether we think Neddy has or has not done a decent job for the Blue; is or is not actually doing the best he possibly can with what he has to work with to give us a chance to win -- it all comes down to this: When Frank is forced to sell (and sooner or later he will be), the new owner will kick Ned out and start over with his own GM, and THAT is when I'll have tears in MY eyes. Go away Frank.

I disagree with the premise covertly proposed here -- that Colletti isn't doing the best job he could or that he's not a good GM. I think he is easily the best GM the Dodgers have had since Fred Claire, and maybe better than Fred. I don't understand why more positive pieces haven't been written about him.

Has he made a few mistakes early on in his GM career. Absolutely! Some big ones. Has he learned from them? I think so. Has he worked in a tough spot with the cash- strapped McCourts as owners deferring cash away from the team? Big time! Kudos to Mr. Colletti from me!

Steve, what a fun post... I read through this blog and all that I can think of is still how much passion the Dodger evoke in us fans. The humor amongst the angst in all the postings is evident. And now for a left wing(ers) conspiracy theory, how many of these post were really written by T. J. Simers? I can only imagine what these posts would have been like if there was such a thing back in the days of O'Malley. I am sure that some of you recall the controversy that the owner and operator of Dodger Stadium, Walter O'Malley was accused of intentionally not having water fountains available so the fans would have to buy beer and soft drinks. Or, that a later owner secretly engineered the trade of the teams most popular player in a decade to NY (via Fla) for ulterior motives. Wait a second....


In my opinion, Since'58's 9:28 post was over the line, entirely offensive, and had nothing to do with sports or being a fan of the game.

Yankees as Dodger managers? Giants as Dodger GMs? Red Sox Fans as Dodger owners? The Dodgers continue to lose their Los Angeles identity
and links to their past greatness. It' beyond high time for the Red Sox fan to sell the Dodgers back to owners with local ties. It's time for former Dodger players to manage the ball club and make the roster decisions based on the DODGER WAY TO PLAY BASEBALL!
Dodger fans, haven't we had enough?

Fans of the dream that will be real once Ned leaves:

For those of us who can, give Ned a little Giants trinket every time you see him. Maybe after a while even his thick head will get the point. He is probably the most disliked GM the Dodgers have had in LA. And jusitifiably.

It's undeniable he cares more about the Giants winning than he does about Dodger fans' disgust over HIS lack of going after quality free agents. Like we're some (pit) in the midwest.

I don't hate Colletti for his Giants roots, just his Giants way of fashioning the Dodgers: Little purchases of almost insignificant players, hoping somehow one of em is Clark Kent with a Superman uni beneath. Since Bonds, THAT'S been the Giants way. It never was the Dodgers', but because of Ned and Frank, keeping payroll down as if they suffer under the crushing lease the Giants have to pay off---the Dodgers don't, only McCourt's bills keep us from REAL player purchases---the way the Dodgers are being fashioned IS the Giants way. Damn him for that.


"But it's... something else to bring in a player reeking of garlic fries."

Hey Angelenos, I think they're technically called "World Champion garlic fries". You know, Seattle has them too.

Thanks to you all shelling out to keep divorce lawyers in business, and see you on Banner Hoisting Day!


Boy you dodger fans whine alot

dodger fans whine a lot = for a reason

LA Dodgers 5 sf giants 1

Ok Colletti- That's it. Get out of here.

There's another Dodger who was crying that night - your starting shortstop! so get a grip! Although it's nice to think Dodger fans are seeing Giants around every corner, waiting to club them...

Great! Ned still bleeds orange and black! Go World Champion Giants!

Ned bleeds french vanilla

Seems like this article is just a way of doing absolutely nothing but taking up time when baseball is about to start. Why didn't Steve report this in December? I am from the Bay Area, but I have always been a Dodger fan through my family and extended family...all from LA. It's a big deal to be a Dodger fan and I am planning on going to LA for Opening Day #2 thanks ESPN!

I don't care who Colletti worked for in the past and don't care who he brings in as long as they want to be Dodgers and we can win with them!

Both Manny and McCourt have ruined the Dodgers, but I see bigger things ahead! Have faith! Dodgers in 2011!!!

Colleti is an average GM working for a below average owner with average resources (based on the dodgers media market and fan base which are above average and the and a in debt poor owner.

Colleti has done okay with what he has to work with. With the farm system decimated due to McCourts cheapness, it will be interesting to see what he does in the future.

bcoker1709: We're LUCKY to have Colletti?!?!? Are you out of your every-loving mind!?!?! Ned wouldn't know talent if it bit him on the arse. We are not only strapped with the absolute worst owner in all of sport, but we have the added handicap of having one of the worst GM's in the sport of baseball. I have no idea what GM you've been following the last several years, but if he's done an 'excellent job'... It ain't Ned Colletti.

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