People talk all the time about mixed emotions when someone departs a company for a promotion someplace else and while it’s a cliche, there’s no better way to describe the way I feel today and the way many people at the Dodgers feel.
Kim Ng, who has been with us for the last nine-plus years and has played an enormous role in our four postseason appearances and two NLCS appearances, is the new Sr. Vice President of Baseball Operations at Major League Baseball. That’s an incredible position with huge responsibility and oversight for the sport we all love. We couldn’t be more proud.
It’s also somewhat ironic that on International Women’s Day, Ng becomes (I believe) the highest-ranking female in the history of the game of baseball. How cool is that? Of course, I hesitate even writing about her gender because frankly, I think it’s a tired story and an easy one to fall back on when someone is looking for an angle to write about. Kim deserves to be recognized as a top-notch baseball executive, independent of the fact that she’s a minority as both a woman and an Asian. She just gets it and she goes about her business in the most professional manner you could ever imagine. She’s a great leader, a great baseball mind and she will be a huge asset to the league. Consider this: in her 13 seasons as an Assistant GM, she has reached the postseason eight times, the LCS six times and won three World Championships. I’m pretty sure that’s unparalleled.
So, of course, we will miss her. I’ve learned so much from her both personally and professsionally over the years…at the Dodger Stadium offices and as a roommate (we have rented a house, along with another baseball operations executive for the last five Springs) and the perspective she brings to anything she’s discussing is invaluable.
I know she’ll be working for the Commissioner’s Office and for Joe Torre, but she’ll always be a Dodger and we’re honored to consider her a friend.
If you haven’t yet seen School Pride on NBC, be sure to tune in tomorrow night. Among the Dodgers who came out to speak to the kids were Andre Ethier, James Loney and Joe Torre.
It’s on at 8 p.m. (7 central time) and the filming of this episode was among the more rewarding things we did this year. It just so happened that it took place on the day Vin Scully announced he was coming back, so we even had all the kids yelling up to the press box “We love you, Vin.”
For a sneak preview of the show, check out this link.
Today, on Veteran’s Day, everyone at the Dodger organization salutes those who sacrifice for others to make this country what is is today. There are so many great things going on around the nation today, including a really exciting event at Dodger Stadium where members of the military will be taking BP, hanging out on the field, meeting legends like Tommy and Newk and enjoying a great day at the stadium.
Before that, we’ll head out to the Veteran’s Hospital in Westwood with Tommy and Vin Scully to spend some time with those who are there and thank them for their service. It’s all part of a larger program we’ll be starting in 2011 to honor the military.
The Dodgers Media Network (www.dodgers.com/dmn) has a great tribute video to Dodger legend Rick Monday’s proud moment of saving the flag, while Bill Plaschke weighed in this morning with a heartfelt column as well.
And while we’re saluting the efforts of others, it’s important to note that Joe Torre will host his annual Safe at Home dinner tonight in New York to benefit the great work that his foundation does to stop domestic violence, while Ryan Theriot’s inaugural celebrity golf classic is tomorrow in Louisiana to benefit three great causes (www.ryantheriot.com).
With yesterday’s media availability for Don Mattingly and Ned Colletti, we got a little nugget at the end of the session that I never knew. Don Mattingly is a West Coast guy at heart, according to the manager himself.
“The first time I came to Anaheim, I loved it,” he said. “The weather, the cool nights, the laid-back way it is away from the field. I like that a lot. This place fits my personality really well. I live at the beach, I like it a lot, chill away from the field. It allows me to be somebody different.”
It was a glimpse at the man who will lead the team and it was very genuine. It’s also something I didn’t really know about him, though we did talk about how great the South Bay is on the plane flight to Colorado last week.
In any event, he heads to the Fall League tomorrow…
On a side note, I’ve had a few people ask me what artists did the gifts we gave to Joe Torre and Brad Ausmus. For Torre, it was Opie Otterstad who did the incredible painting and Brad’s helmet was decorated incredibly by David Arrigo. Check out their work…pretty amazing.
Well, it was hardly the finish we all had hoped for back in February at Camelback Ranch, but it was a great day and hopefully those of you at the stadium or watching on TV enjoyed it.
From Brad Ausmus’ retirement ceremony and two-hit game, to John Lindsey taking out the lineup card with Joe Torre and even getting in the box score with a pinch-hit appearance…and from Hong-Chih Kuo setting the record for the lowest single-season ERA in franchise history, to Joe Torre’s farewell speech and ceremony, it’ll actually be a day to remember for many Dodger fans who have supported this team all year.
I know that more than 15,000 people left the stadium with some sort of gift (one of which took home a Hyundai Sonata), while David Hasselhoff’s rendition of God Bless America was a huge hit (as was his cameo in Don’t Stop Believing).
On behalf of everyone at the Dodgers, we truly thank you for your support this season. You all come out, win or lose, through thick and thin and for that, you have our deepest gratitude.
Keep checking back at the blog all winter, as we’ll be updating regularly. And have a safe Fall…
Im sure by now youve heard the exciting news that Don Mattingly will take over for Joe Torre next season. Obvoiusly our office is slammed right now with logistics but be sure to tune into PRIME TICKET for the live news conference at 5 p.m. to hear it all for yourself. Im sure Ill post more later…
After 1,570 games at the minor league level, John Lindsey has reached the big leagues. He’s among the five callups that Joe Torre just announced and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
He started his minor league career in 1995 with the Arizona League Rockies and has since been at Portland, Asheville, Salem, San Bernardino, San Antonio, New Jersey, Jupiter, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, New Orleans, the Arizona League Dodgers and Albuquerque…not to mention the Dodgers’ trips to China and Taiwan, which is how I’ve had the chance to interact with him.
I’m happy for all of our callups – John Ely, Jon Link, Chin-lung Hu and Russ Mitchell, who will be making his big league debut. They all deserve it but imagine giving 15 years of your life to something and wondering if you’ll ever make it to the big leagues. I would have loved to have witnessed the conversation between John and Tim Wallach.
And the best part is, no one can accuse this guy of not legitimately earning it – he hit .356 with 25 homers and 97 RBI after going .316-26-100 for Triple-A Las Vegas in 2008.
There aren’t many people with whom I’ve visited the Great Wall of China (Beijing) and the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial (Taipei) but I’m proud to have done so with Mr. Lindsey.
It appears Manny Ramirez’s calf injury is significant enough to put him on the disabled list, which we officially have done while activating Brad Ausmus from the disabled list. Obviously that’s not the news we were hoping to hear from today’s MRI, but clearly it’s more important to have him healthy down the stretch than have him go out there on an injured calf and make things worse.
Of course, the timing isn’t very good given that the team has dropped five in a row, but for true baseball fans, tonight’s matchup of Kershaw and Lincecum should be a really exciting one (and hopefully the first of many between two division rivals for years to come). And hopefully it’s the start of a winning streak…
Regarding the Inside the Dodgers tour, it looks like Sept. 4 is the winner, so stay tuned for details and mark your calendars. We’ll send out more info shortly…
And finally, I truly appreciate the candor of several people posting on ITD and hopefully you can understand that my job is not to be a voice of baseball operations for the team and to weigh in, point by point, on each position on the field. That’s for Ned, Joe and their staffs to do (and as you know, they answer these questions almost daily in the media).
There’s no doubt just from reading your comments how passionate you all are about the team and how badly you want the team to win. All we can do is assure you that the people who come here every day to work are equally as passionate and literally spend almost every waking minute of every day trying to find ways to win. No one comes into the office hoping that today is the day we start a five-game losing streak.
It’s awesome that there’s debate here about which pitchers should be acquired, what our farm system is like, what the lineups should be and the moves that Joe Torre makes in game. That’s why you all love the game and it’s why I love it, too. It’s why many of us have literally chosen to dedicate our life’s work to it.
We look forward to seeing many of you at the tour and hopefully I can answer a question or two for you, if it’s helpful. And if not, that’s okay, too. Just don’t lose your passion for the team…
Our stars are on display tonight at the All-Star Game on FOX so hopefully you guys will all be watching.
And of course, our hearts go out to the Yankee family today with the passing of George Steinbrenner. It’s obviously been a tough week for them, with Bob Sheppard also passing away. Though his legacy will live on tonight at the All-Star Game when his voice announces Derek Jeter in Anaheim.
Here are some of the comments made from Dodger personnel regarding The Boss:
“George was a friend who I admired very much. He was a giant in our game and he built an empire. All he was was a winner. He wanted to give the fans a winner, and that’s exactly what he did.” – Dodger Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda
“I will always remember George Steinbrenner as a passionate man, a tough boss, a true visionary, a great humanitarian and a dear friend. I will be forever grateful that he trusted me with his Yankees for 12 years. My heart goes out to his entire family. He will be deeply missed in New York, Tampa and throughout the world of baseball. It’s only fitting that he went out as a world champ.” – Dodger Manager Joe Torre
“I am deeply saddened to hear the news of George Steinbrenner’s passing. His vision, passion and commitment to winning, recharged the New York Yankees and revolutionized the game.
I remember a man driven to succeed. He was the owner, “The Boss” and number one fan of the Yankees. Our relationship was built on mutual respect. I will never forget and always be grateful for how he treated me and my family both during my playing days and after I retired.
I will miss him very much and extend my deepest condolences to his wife, Joan, and all the members of the Steinbrenner family.” – Dodger Hitting Coach Don Mattingly
“George Steinbrenner was the first owner to convey to me his congratulations when I purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers. From that day forward we built a strong and meaningful friendship. He was a larger than life owner who cared deeply about winning. George helped shape the game of baseball during his incredible stewardship of the Yankees. My deepest sympathies go out to his wife, Joan and his four children, Hal, Hank, Jennifer and Jessica and the entire Steinbrenner family.” – Dodger Owner Frank McCourt
As one of the most successful managers in baseball history, Joe Torre tends to have an interesting take on a lot of things, and I’ve always found it intriguing over the last couple years that he tends to gauge his team based on its relationship to the .500 mark, not to the standings.
Of course, when we get to September, you need to be at the top of the division, but when we struggled early, he kept saying that the goal was to get to .500 and then after that, it was five games over and now 10 games over.
I guess if you worry about your own team more than your competition, you don’t tend to freak out at the peaks and valleys.
First pitch is a couple minutes away here on FOX…and don’t forget, the first-half finale against the Cubs tomorrow is at 5:10, not the usual 1:10 Sunday time.