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No one on the Dodgers has more at stake in 2012 than Ned Colletti

Ned3
Ned Colletti is all in this season. His career as the Dodgers general manager is on the line. It is every season, of course, but more so in 2012, with the Dodgers about to undergo new ownership.

It’s also true for Don Mattingly as the manager, but more so for Colletti. New owners typically don’t come in and announce everything will operate just as before. They want their people in charge, making decisions, reformatting the team in some new image.

When Frank and Jamie McCourt purchased the team in 2004, the first thing they did was start searching for a new general manager. In what should have been a complete indication of things to come, they actually made existing general manager Dan Evans apply and interview for his own job. They hired Paul DePodesta, about as miscast to lead an operation as Barney Fife. He was gone after two quick years.

Someone is going to be named the next Dodgers owner by April Fools' Day. They are going to want to place their stamp on the team. It’s hard to imagine Colletti survives — unless the Dodgers win this season.

So you can criticize his off-season moves, but no individual has more at stake on the outcome of this season than Colletti.

The team he put together under the payroll budget he was given is not particularly impressive. It has all the makings of a third consecutive mediocre ballclub. It is riddled with ifs and maybes and finger-crossing.

Yet if the pieces come together as Colletti has envisioned, the division is weak enough that the Dodgers can be successful. If they’re successful enough to make the postseason, the new owner probably sticks with him.

This is Colletti’s seventh season as the Dodgers’ GM, but none has been quite like this one.

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— Steve Dilbeck

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

 
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