Searching for an angle…

Touched down in Philadelphia last night around 8 p.m. and headed to dinner with Ned Colletti and a number of people on his staff at a great Italian restaurant. For those who missed it, Ken Gurnick wrote an impressive recap of Ned’s tenure as GM and whether you agree with his moves or not, you’ve got to admit that the end result has been what we’ve all been hoping for…whether it was starting a prospect development program in the winter, hanging onto the kids when some thought we should deal them, or making big trades for Manny, Casey, Berroa or Maddux, he and his staff — all the way down to each and every area scout and minor league instructor — deserve tons of credit for building this team and turning it over to Joe Torre and his staff.

I know that our plan was for Ned to answer questions from fans on this blog and I’m sure he’d still be happy to do that if any of you want to post them here. When things weren’t looking very good, the questions stopped coming in but he’s been willing to interact with everyone on this blog since Spring Training and that’s pretty unique for a big league GM. Just be sure to direct the question to him and I’ll try to get it answered this week.

In any event, as you can imagine, there are tons of media members here that are just getting to cover the Dodgers for the first time and everyone is seeking a unique angle. Part of our job in the Communications Department is to help provide them with interesting ideas. Among them…

- Our Chief Operating Officer, Dennis Mannion, worked for the Phillies for 15 years, eventually becoming VP of Marketing and Sales

- Fernando and Mariano Duncan were teammates on the 1994 Phillies

- Larry Bowa’s ties to the Phillies (he might be the person we’ve received the most requests for so far)

- Ned actually used to be a sportswriter in Philadelphia, covering hockey in 1980-81

- Shane Victorino (former Dodger minor league twice Rule Fived from our system)

- Jayson Werth – who can forget his wrist sagas?

- Andre Ethier’s thoughts on Philly cheesesteaks (he’s now become MLB’s resident foodie)

- Two former Dodgers on the Phillies’ coaching staff (Davey Lopes and Milt Thompson)

- Former Dodger Charlie Manuel managing the Phillies

And arguably one of the best angles I’ve seen written so far is by the New York Times’ Ben Shpigel, who pointed out that Manuel used to be Manny’s minor league manager, big league hitting coach and big league skipper.

Speaking of Manny, he’s on the cover of SI this week…hopefully the photo below shows up better than the ones of the Steelers’ practice I uploaded back in Pittsburgh.

 

SICover_101308_National_Manny.jpg

Meanwhile, my counterpart at the Phillies (who has been doing the PR thing far longer than I have and is one of the more respected people in the game), also has a front office blog like Inside the Dodgers. Larry Shenk runs Phillies Insider and you should peek in over there, too. Good luck to Larry in the series…may the best team win.  

I also noticed that more Dodger fan blogs are popping up left and right, including this one by Kelly, currently being promoted on the front of MLBlogs. If you’ve got a Dodger blog, be sure to include it in your posts so others can check them out.

To answer the question about why the start time is 5:22 p.m., not 5:30 – it’s all about network programming. FOX selects the times and in this case, it allows them to go on the air around 5 p.m. and still have up to 20 minutes or so for a pre-game show, plus commercials…

And finally, if you’re back in LA and want to get together with other Dodger fans to watch the games, there are a ton of restaurants/bars in the Dodgers’ Home Base Network where you can be sure the game will be on and other fans will be on hand.

That’s all for now…this might be my longest post of the season so sorry for the rambling.

 

24 Comments

Good morning ITD land ~ It’s getting closer to game time….and, I for one, cannot wait. Thanks Josh for your great information packed posts. I just heard Tim McCarver, one of the Fox broadcasters, who will be doing our series, called Manny “Dispicable”. Great unbiased opinion, isn’t it?

Good Morning ITD writers and readers!!!!!!
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Countdown to Dodger Baseball ~ 32 hours and 37 minutes
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Josh – Thanks for the great write up. Question for Ned – What are the chances of the Dodgers re-signing Manny? Furcal? Lowe?

And another question for Ned ~ What are the chances of getting rid of Pierre and Jones?

I think I spelled “DESPICIBLE” sorry.

Didn’t think to ask that one – LOL!!!! Too happy about Manny, Matt and Andre out there, you kind of forget about those two. For what it’s worth, JP has been doing his job coming off the bench. BTW ~ When was the last time anybody has even seen Andruw?

Question for Ned, If you can give Pierre 45 mil and Schmidt 50 mil and Andruw 36 mil do you see any reason why you can’t resign a player that will actually help the Dodgers win like Manny?

fliegel ~ I’m with you on that one! So, please Ned, resign Manny!!!

JOSH – Thanks for answering the questions about the game starting time.
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Sports Illustrated Cover of Manny is great. Love the Heading.
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QUESTION FOR NED: Of course I’m sure everyone is wondering about MANNY, is he going to be resign? What about our veterans KENT, SAITO & NOMAR?

Ned ~ With all the money Manny generates through merchandise and ticket sales, and the fact that Andre, Matt, James and Russell think he has helped them all at the plate, I think signing him must be your first priority.

An unusual letter-printing day for the Times today. A bunch of Angle fans are pretty sore that the squeeze didn’t work out.
http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-letters8-2008oct08,0,6552550,full.story

………So off goes another letter………

“To all you Angel fans who are wailing to high heaven about Mike Scioscia’s decision to squeeze, you are most likely the same people who would be singing his praises for his “gutsy and aggressive” call if it had worked.

Trade him to the Dodgers. That’s where he belongs anyway.”

Yeah!!!! Dodgereric!!!!!!!!! and Good Morning to you!!!

Very intersting, Dodgreric. They were arguing about that play all day on television too.

In fact, they were saying that if the ball was dropped at home plate, the way it was after the tag out on third, he would have been called safe. If a fielder, catches a ball and runs into the wall and loses it, it’s not a catch. So, the question is, are there different rules on a dropped ball?

Good morning everyone! Just heard on SportsCenter that Buster Olney is picking the Dodgers, which adds him to Ken Rosenthal and Tim Kurkjian. As far as Tim McCarver goes, he should be taken off that series not because he has his own opinion on Manny, but because I feel it could spill over to his opinion of the Dodgers. At least he is not calling balls and strikes in this series!

Good morning, June Darlin’ and TruLumpy!!

Tru, in the home plate scenario, I think it would matter exactly how the ball was dropped. If the runner dislodges it, he’s ruled safe. If the catcher tags the runner and gets bowled over and he drops it after he hits the ground, I think the ump would rule that the tag was made and the runner was out before the catcher hit the ground.

At least that’s how I see it. But it’s all subjective, isn’t it? I thought Sabathia made an error on the play that was ruled a hit and eventually cost him a no-hitter. So what do I know?

Good morning ITD boys and girls!
Oh boy, I’m going to have to listen to Tim McCarver for this series??? Tim McCarver is an idiot. I’ve never liked him; never liked his broadcasting style. I don’t like Ken Rosenthal either, especially for his stupid articles, but at least when he talks on the TV, he doesn’t sound like a blithering idiot like McCarver does. I’ll have fun watching the Dodgers on TV, but I’m not going to have any fun listening to McCarver. I like are Peter Gammons and Steve Phillips from ESPN; too bad ESPN isn’t broadcasting the series…

Well, I guess we just hit mute and turn on Vin!

An excellent suggestion, PM!

Countdown to Dodger Baseball ~ 30 hours and 34 minutes
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I hope everyone is having a great day. Quick story ~ My class was choosing who they think will win the AL Division, and as I was saying the names of the teams, one of my students says “My mom and dad call the Red Sox the Butt Sox”. I couldn’t help but laugh. Back to work. I will read all the comments at lunch. A much better day today :)

Kuo update please???!!!…….

Question from above for Ned, If you can give Pierre 45 mil and Schmidt 50 mil and Andruw 36 mil do you see any reason why you can’t resign a player that will actually help the Dodgers win like Manny?

Answer: They won’t be able to resign a player like Manny because they still have to give Pierre 45 mil and Schmidt 50 mil and Andruw 36 mil…

elf2 That’s the point.

Question for Ned:
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During the interviews of you I have heard lately, you have been giving a great deal of credit to Joe Torre. My question is this: When will you start giving the most credit where it is due — to the wonderful core of young players who have continued to play hard and show incredible patience (at least publicly) while Joe, and before him Grady, took excessive amounts of time to recognize that players like Loney, Kemp, and Ethier are superior to the likes of Luis Gonzalez, Juan Pierre, and Nomar?

Philly is a great town, i wish i could be there with you guys tomorrow. Hell, i wish i could be there with you guys in LA.
But tickets are just too expensive. :\
Good Luck!
Ill be outside the stadium cheering in LA :D

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