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If Cubs wanted Ned Colletti could he actually turn them down?

August 21, 2011 |  8:05 am

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Deep down, during in his most private of moments, in his little heart of hearts, is Ned Colletti really still a Cubbie?

And if they came a knocking, would it be impossible for him to resist their call?

This has become more than simple curiosity after the Cubs fired their general manager, Jim Hendry, on Friday and Colletti’s name immediately began circulating amongst the Chicago media that he was a potential replacement.

Colletti grew up in Chicago, started his career in baseball as a Cubs publicist and later became a Cubs baseball operations assistant. His brother, Doug, has been a Bears broadcaster for 24 years.

The Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune were quick to mention him as a candidate for the Cubs' sudden opening, though whether that was from actual inside information or simple deduction is unclear.

Colletti passed on discussing the Cubs situation, instead Saturday replying in a text:

I have a contract and a commitment to the Dodgers. Until somebody tells me otherwise, that is where my focus is and where my efforts will be.

I’m sorry to hear of what happened with Jim, who’s been a good friend for many years.

Colletti has a contract with the Dodgers – its length is unknown -- though it’s not hard to imagine the bankrupt club giving permission to the Cubs to interview him if requested.

He spent 11 years with the Giants after leaving the Cubs, and has been the Dodgers GM for the last six seasons. Some have accused him of having too much holdover affection for the Giants, but it is Chicago that is his home.

Whether Cubs owner Tom Ricketts would actually be interested in Colletti is another matter. The Tribune’s Phil Rogers wrote: "Ricketts said Friday he wants the next GM to be someone who believes in finding and developing young players, knows his way around a computer and comes from a winning climate."

Sound just like Colletti? In a post headlined "In Which We Try To Convince Cubs Fans That Ned Colletti Is A Good Idea," Mike Petriello of the blog MikeSciosciasTragicIlliness actually suggests that Hendry and Colletti are cut from the same GM cloth.

You can be sure of one thing: Colletti did not come to the Dodgers to be mired in an organization dragged through the courts, fighting with Major League Baseball, declaring bankruptcy and shrinking its payroll. That alone ought to at least make him interested in going home.

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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti. Credit: Hannah Foslien / Getty Images

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