Report: Colletti Repaid Kent Favor With $22M Deal!

In an interview with Jon Weisman of ESPN’s Dodger Thoughts Molly Knight, who recently published a lengthy piece in ESPN The Magazine about the McCourts divorce, reported why the Dodgers allegedly hired Ned Colletti as GM and how Jeff Kent landed a “shocking” two-year contract extension with the Dodgers in 2006 worth over $22 million at age 38.

Jeff Kent and Jamie McCourt of the Los Angeles Dodgers

(”You want me to teach women to play baseball? That’ll be $22 million”)

Weisman: “What was her (Jamie McCourt) biggest impact on the organization?

Knight: “I still have no idea. Oh, maybe the hiring of Ned Colletti. I’ve heard stories that she became close friends with Jeff Kent after he volunteered to help domestic violence victims as part of her WIN Initiative.

Both she and Frank respected Kent’s willingness to serve the community. Jeff mentioned Ned Colletti to Jamie because he knew they were looking for a GM. Jamie suggested it to Frank.

Ned killed in his interview because he didn’t ask how much money he’d have to play with. A few former execs told me all this, so take it with a grain of salt. But it starts to make sense that Kent was responsible for Colletti when you see the contract extension he was rewarded with after Colletti got there.

So because Kent showed up for Jamie McCourt’s community projects, he was able to get Colletti’s foot in the door. The same Colletti who later handed the 38-year-old Kent an outrageous, two-year, $22 million contract.

But at least Kent was injury prone and hated by his teammates!

In a post titled, “Didn’t See That Coming: Dodgers Extend Kent’s Contract,” Weisman wrote of the deal at the time: Read more…

Walls Now Closing In On Dodger GM Ned Colletti

Thanks to a pitching staff in absolute shambles, the Dodgers are currently in last place in the pedestrian National League West and owner of MLB’s second-worst record (8-13). 21 games into the season, three of the Dodgers five-man starting pitching rotation have an ERA over 5.00 and two of those hurlers, Vincente Padilla and Charlie Haeger, have earned run averages over 7.

Ned Colletti Festival of Fake Hair

(Colletti gave Kemp a piece of his mind)

With the team five games under .500, highlighting the Dodger pitching woes is an offense that is third in MLB in hits and batting average.

Despite those facts, General Manager Ned Colletti chose to lash out at Matt Kemp on Wednesday for his poor play on a L.A. radio show. (Kemp is currently hitting .292 and second in the major leagues with seven home runs.)

Not surprisingly, Kemp and his agent Dave Stewart were distinctly displeased with Colletti’s seemingly misplaced priorities. Stewart went so far to hint that Colletti’s comments might come into play once Kemp is contractually free to leave the team.

So what was it that had Kemp and Stewart so upset? Read more…

Terrell Owens’ New Reality TV Show Quite Terrible

• The critics all seem to agree: “The T.O. Show” stinks worse than B.O.

Terrell Owens abs

(All right, we get it, Terrell - you’re proud of your abs. Or wardrobe couldn’t afford any shirts)

• The Tahoe tourney attendee who amused Michael Jordan with a giant inflatable penis tells her side of the story - and sends us a new photo!

• Meanwhile, a Tahoe hotel employee accuses Ben Roethlisberger of sexual assault - but is she the type to really be believed?

• Does Ozzie Guillen hate white players? That would be ironic, since he manages the White Sox.

• After being acquitted of rape charges, ex-NFL kicker Tony Zendejas sues the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department for $2 million.

Read more…

Half-Nude Ned Colletti Getting A Tattoo? Gotcha

Like you, I’ve always been a big fan of Dodgers GM Ned Colletti. But my appreciation for Colletti has nothing to do with his oft-lauded, front office manuevers. (Lifting the phone off the receiver when the Red Sox called to hand over Manny, brilliant!)

Ned Colletti Festival of Fake Hair

(Veritable Festival of Ferrets)

You see, every day Colletti straps on the best wig in sports (sorry Karl Ravech!).

Ned Colletti Gets A Tattoo

(We all wish Ned would go topless but not what I had in mind)

Even better though than his well-coiffed toupee, Colletti recently got inked by a tattoo artist who doubles as a diehard Dodger fan. Delightful results are after the jump.

Read more…

Expect Boras, Manny To Wait Until Spring To Sign

The fallout of the New York Yankees signing up Mark Teixeira has been Chernobyl-esque for Manny Ramirez. Before the Yanks borrowed Hank Paulsen’s printing press to corral Tex, it appeared that Yankee Stadium was to be Ramirez’s most likely destination. Especially if Teixeira had signed with the Red Sox.

Frank McCourt Dodgers Owner hit in head with foul ball FAIL

(Frank McCourt: Plenty of practice fumbling away opportunities of a lifetime)

With the Mets out of money (thanks, Bernie!) and no other team at present willing to offer Ramirez more than the Dodgers’ proposed 2-year, $45 million pact, it’s looking more and more like it’ll be a long and lonely winter for Mr. Elongated Pants.

Frank McCourt Manny Ramirez Ned Colletti

(Ned Colletti looking like a stroked-out Peter Griffin)

I was listening to local sports radio guy here in Los Angeles last night and I heard him say that he was unequivocally certain that Ramirez would sign with the Dodgers in January. That Ramirez agent Scott Boras would break down and take the team’s (paltry) offer.

Now, does that sound like something Boras would do to you?

Read more…

McCourt Charging Dodger Fans $500 To Take BP

The Dodgers have won exactly one playoff series in 20 years and are likely to head back into NL West obscurity if they don’t re-sign Manny Ramirez, but that’s not stopping the team from charging ridiculous prices for things like spring training and the opportunity to take a few hacks in the batting cage at Dodger Stadium.

Ned Colletti Manny Ramirez

(”We don’t need you, Manny. We can win it all with Blake DeWitt!”)

Last week, the Dodgers charged fans $500 a head to take batting practice and get pictures taken with baseball superstars Russell Martin and Andre Ethier. It was all part of a big fundraiser to help a worthy cause. That cause, of course, being Frank McCourt’s effort to extort as much money as possible from Southern Californians while they think the team still has a chance to retain Manny. They’re also charging as much as $90 for spring training tickets in 2009.

Meanwhile, Ned Colletti is already rationalizing not signing Manny…

Read more…

Dodger Face-Saving Campaign With Manny Starts

Ken Rosenthal of reports tonight from the baseball Winter Meetings in the OC that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told reporters that his club “offered (Manny Ramirez a contract with the highest average salary in Dodgers history, and the second-highest average salary among current players.

Ned Colletti Manny Ramirez

(Only thing faker than Dodgers’ offer? Colletti’s piece)

Rosenthal surmises from that that the Dodgers “offered Ramirez a two-year contract worth just over $50 million.”

According to Colletti, who didn’t specifiy contract length, the Dodgers also offered an option year. Of course, the Dodger GM didn’t specify which party holds the option, so that could be irrelevant to process.

Last week the NEW YORK POST reported about the same, a 2-year deal worth $60M.  The story was from an anonymous source. Gee, wonder who that was?

I wrote at the time that the Dodgers were planting the $30M-per figure in the media to make it look like they were making a genuine offer. Now it appears Colletti may be confirming all that. Read more…

Blog-O-Rama: Goodnight Sweet Dump Casey Blake

Casey Blake Scary

  • YOU BEEN BLINDED dials up video of Carlos Zambrano getting K-balled in a fast pitch softball league from back in June.
  • MISTER IRRELEVANT eulogizes the loss of Red Lasso, every blogger’s best friend. I, for one, welcome Brian Powell as our new video overlord.

Read more…

MLB Lets Dodgers Blow Off Mandatory Minority Interview Rule

SOMEONE IN HR IS SLIGHTLY PISSED OFF AT THE MOMENT: The LOS ANGELES TIMES reports today that MLB yesterday gave the Dodgers the green light to “bypass the mandatory interviews of minority candidates” in order to expedite the Torre hire (we love hairpieced-Ned Colletti still trying to play coy).

Ned Colletti

The Dodgers were allowed to throw the rule down the stairs “because of their hiring record“. One of those hires touted by MLB? Team President Jamie McCourt, who is “the highest-ranking female executive” in MLB. Of course, McCourt also happens to be the husband wife of owner Frank McCourt.