Tuesday, October 20, 2009
DODGERS AND COLLETTI AGREE TO LONG-TERM EXTENSION
--GM is first in franchise history to reach postseason three of his first four years--
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced that they have agreed to a long-term contract extension for General Manager Ned Colletti. Dodger Owner Frank McCourt made the announcement.
“One of our core promises to our fans is championship caliber baseball, year in and year out,” said McCourt. “Ned has been instrumental in our going a long way towards fulfilling that promise. I couldn’t be happier for him, both personally and professionally. The stability and continuity that extending his contract provides will further help us achieve the goal of being a consistent winner and I’m thrilled that he will continue to lead our baseball operations into the future.”
In his four seasons as GM, Colletti has seen his teams reach the postseason in three times, the first time a Dodger GM has accomplished that feat. During those four years, the Dodgers’ .539 winning percentage is the second highest in the National League behind the Phillies (.554). Among NL West opponents, the Dodgers lead second-place Colorado by 17.5 games during the four-year span.
The Dodgers recently finished the regular season with the best record in the National League for the first time since 1983 and swept the National League Division Series for the second consecutive season. The team is making back-to-back appearances in the NLCS for the first time since 1977-78.
“My time here in Los Angeles has been very special to me and I’m honored to be associated with this tremendous franchise,” said Colletti. “I’m very proud of what our baseball operations staff has accomplished over the last four years and I’m grateful for the support of the fans who have truly made me feel at home. I’m hopeful that we can bring them the championship they deserve in the very near future.”
Colletti is one of just three active Major League GMs to have reached the postseason in three of his first four seasons, joining New York’s Brian Cashman and Boston’s Theo Epstein.
“Ned’s leadership has created organizational consistency and the results speak for themselves,” said Dodger President Dennis Mannion. “He’s a tremendous asset to the Dodger organization and I look forward to working with him to ensure the Dodgers’ success in the years to come.”
Among the key contributors Colletti has added in midseason over the past two years are three likely Hall of Famers – Manny Ramirez, Greg Maddux, and Jim Thome – as well as veterans Casey Blake, Vicente Padilla, George Sherrill, Ronnie Belliard, and Jon Garland. Colletti’s first trade as GM netted outfielder Andre Ethier, while he continued to hold onto several key players who have become the nucleus of the team, including All-Stars Jonathan Broxton and Chad Billingsley, as well as Matt Kemp, James Loney, Russell Martin, Clayton Kershaw, and Hong-Chih Kuo, among others.
With a focus on developing top talent, Colletti and his staff launched an offseason Player Development Program in 2008 that included instruction both on and off the field. He also created the Dodger Pride Awards, which honor the organization’s top minor league players each month at each level of the club’s minor league system who play the game with a hustling, smart, aggressive style.
His key free agent acquisitions include the re-signing of Ramirez and Blake as well as deals to sign Randy Wolf, Orlando Hudson, and Juan Pierre, among others. Colletti has also renewed the club’s focus in Asia, signing free agents Takashi Saito and Hiroki Kuroda out of Japan.