Over the last few years, Ned Colletti has become very involved in the Guide Dogs of America and about six months ago, he mentioned to KABC’s Peter Tilden in passing that his favorite band was Chicago. Well, KABC stepped up to make a really cool event out of these two seemingly unconnected entities.
On October 22, KABC and Ned Colletti will host a concert at the Saban Theatre and it will serve as a fundraiser for the Guide Dogs of America and The Foundation Fighting Blindness.
Some of our younger readers might not know Chicago or, they think they don’t know Chicago. But given that they’ve sold more than 100 million records, including 21 Top 10 singles, they’re the real deal. Those who know them can affirm that.
And TalkRadio 790 KABC will donate 100% of all ticket sales to Guide Dogs of America and The Foundation Fighting Blindness. It’s really cool that they are doing this and it’s great that Ned has been able to combine a cause close to his heart with a band he really loves.
You can purchase the tickets presale at kabc.com with the password KABC and after that they’ll be available at Ticketmaster.
For anyone who’s ever been to Spring Training in Arizona, they’ve likely heard about Don & Charlie’s, the legendary eatery in Scottsdale. I’ve heard about it for years but never been and last night, I dined there for the first time with one of my mentors in the game of baseball.
We were there for about two hours and during that time, we saw Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Commissioner Bud Selig and so many other baseball people it was truly astonishing. Following my dinner, I stuck around for a drink with the legendary doctors, Frank Jobe and Lewis Yocum, who have probably done several thousand Tommy John surgeries between them (as well as countless other body parts they’ve put back together).
I was keeping the seat warm for Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who came straight to dinner from the airport and who also has a long history of sports clients that rivals just about anyone in the country (and is our team doctor, too). They were all joined by the medical director of the Kerlan-Jobe Surgery Center.
The place is literally covered in wall to wall sports memorabilia and apparently Ned Colletti used to go there all the time early in his career, as there’s a dish on the menu named after him.
If you make it out to Arizona, you should stop over there and check it out…just make a reservation if you can, as the place was packed all night.
One year ago today, we posted here about a young man named Christopher Ramirez who was the talk of Spring Training. When Make-a-Wish called us to tell us about a huge Dodger fan from San Francisco, it was expected that this 17-year-old might not make it to see Opening Day. Sadly, with so many of the Make-a-Wish kids we’re fortunate enough to encounter, that is the case.
Christopher came with his sister and his mother to visit Camelback Ranch. Under Ned Colletti’s orders, we treated him like a big leaguer for a day. He took infield/outfield with the team, he took batting practice and he sat in the dugout for a big league Spring game. His story was covered by many media outlets and those of us who spent any time with him took great joy and amazement in his positive outlook, given the circumstances.
Throughout last season, we received updates from him via email about how the inoperable brain tumor he had has been shrinking and we stayed cautiously optimistic. We even got to see him at a game up North in San Francisco. But when he arrived at camp yesterday, with his cancer fully in remission, it was easily the best news to come out of Camelback all year. It was the epitome of ThinkCure!
I’ve written it here before and it’s worth repeating…these are the best parts of this job. The incredible things that the Dodger organization can do for others are what makes this franchise unique. We’ve seen it time and time again – maybe not quite as clear as Christopher’s story – but I believe I speak for all my colleagues when I say that we are humbled to work for such an incredible franchise.
In case you missed the original video and article from last year, check it out and please continue to keep Christopher and his family in your thoughts.
There’s a lot going on these days at Dodger Stadium, and that’s a great thing. With Juan Uribe flying to Los Angeles to take his physical, Ned Colletti and his staff obviously realized that once he passed, we would have an extra infielder (Ryan Theriot) and he had a deal in place to move Ryan to St. Louis in exchange for Blake Hawksworth.
News like this tends to have a lot of moving parts, with Uribe heading to the doctor for the physical, sorting through the media availability for various players, making sure that word of a trade doesn’t get out before the players hear it from their respective teams. So of course, with that, is a lot of internal planning.
But, we have a great front office and PR department, medical staff, etc. who helped today run seamlessly. We got word that Juan was official and let the media know that the deal was done and that he’d be available on a conference call. From there, Ned had to call Ryan and let him know that he had been traded to St. Louis. And then, Juan headed to the stadium for a quick visit with team officials, a tour of the clubhouse and the conference call before he grabs dinner and catches a very early morning flight back to the D.R.
He couldn’t have been a nicer guy and his wife was also very kind. He said that Manny Mota pretty much called him every day after the World Series telling him how much the Dodgers wanted to see him in Blue and he said that it was very meaningful to him that the team cared so much about him. Before they took off from the stadium, we armed them with all sorts of hats and Dodger items to bring back to the Dominican and we’re certainly looking forward to having him on the team in 2011.
For those who follow such things, Blake is on Twitter @blakehawksworth but he’s yet to weigh in via that account…still, I’m sure he’ll be picking up a lot of L.A. followers. And hopefully he’ll add a nice arm to the bullpen for 2011.
Ned seems to still be on the hunt for more pitching, a LF and, as he says, to sort through the catching situation. Stay tuned…we certainly hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday.
If you’re a fan of the Dodgers, you pretty much grew up listening to Vin Scully and for many of you with summer birthdays, you’ve probably spent a birthday or two listening to him.
Well, today’s his birthday so please stop and take a moment to be thankful for all that he’s given us over the years. I hope he’s spending it with his family and enjoying a nice lazy day around the house.
And in other news, Vin will be calling games next year for a rotation now set with five solid starters, as Jon Garland spent his Thanksgiving signing with his hometown team.
Obviously lots of other rumors percolating out there and while I can’t comment on rumors or possible deals, I hope Dodger fans are starting to get excited about the team that Ned and his staff are putting together. We’re not yet at the winter meetings and they’ve already filled many of the “holes” in the team heading into 2011.
He has just signed a three-year deal to pitch in Los Angeles…here’s the release.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Public Relations
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
DODGERS SIGN TED LILLY
2010 trade acquisition and former Dodger farmhand returns to Los Angeles through 2013
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that they have signed left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly to a three-year contract. General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.
“Ted helped stabilize our rotation both in terms of his pitching ability and his leadership,” said Colletti. “He gave us everything we were looking for in a veteran pitcher down the stretch last season.”
Lilly, 34, went 7-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts for the Dodgers after being acquired from the Cubs with Ryan Theriot in exchange for Blake DeWitt, Kyle Smit and Bret Wallach hours before the trade deadline. The left-hander won his first five starts with Los Angeles from Aug. 3-24, becoming the first Dodger pitcher to do so since Kazuhisa Ishii won his first six starts with the team in 2002. Lilly received the lowest run support in the Major Leagues at just 2.88 runs per game and allowed three runs or less in 22 of his 30 outings.
Overall, the southpaw finished 10-12 with a 3.62 ERA in 30 combined starts with the Dodgers and Cubs.
The Torrance native has reached double figures in victories in each of the past eight seasons, including 12 or more wins in six of the last eight, since 2003. The only other pitchers in the Major Leagues to have double figures in victories over the last eight consecutive seasons are C.C. Sabathia (2001-10), Johan Santana (2003-10), Derek Lowe (2002-10), Mark Buehrle (2001-10), Jon Garland (2002-10), John Lackey (2003-10) and Javier Vazquez (2000-10). He owns a 113-96 career record and a 4.18 ERA in 12 seasons with the Expos, Yankees, A’s, Blue Jays, Cubs and Dodgers.
Lilly’s .587 winning percentage (54-38) since 2007 ranks eighth among all big league left-handers and his 103 victories since 2003 are tied for 12th among all active pitchers.
At Dodger Stadium, Lilly tossed a two-hit shutout on Aug. 19 and went 4-1 with a 2.09 ERA (10 ER/43.0 IP) in six starts. While in a Dodger uniform, the opposition hit just .163 against him at home.
This season, Lilly tossed at least 6.0 innings in 24 of his 30 starts and went at least 7.0 frames in 15 of the 30 outings. He walked just 44 batters in 193.2 innings for an average of 2.04 walks per nine innings, the second-lowest mark in the National League behind Roy Halladay (1.08).
Lilly joined the Dodgers on July 31, 2010, 12 years to the day that he was traded as a minor league farmhand. On July 31, 1998, Los Angeles acquired Mark Grudzielanek, Carlos Perez and Hiram Bocachica from the Montreal Expos in exchange for Lilly, Peter Bergeron and Jonathon Tucker.
While with the Cubs on June 14 of this season, Lilly took a no-hitter into the ninth inning before the White Sox’ Juan Pierre came off the bench to break up the bid. On May 10, 1997, Lilly threw a no-hitter against Lake Elsinore for Single-A San Bernardino in the Dodgers’ farm system.
Lilly lives in Oakhurst, CA with his wife Natasha and their seven-month-old son, Ted Lilly, IV.
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.
In the last post, I mentioned how much I would have loved to have witnessed the conversation between Tim Wallach and John Lindsey, telling him he’s reached the big leagues. Well, as it turns out, you can!
Apparently Ned Colletti gave a heads up to the Dodgers Media Network and they filmed the conversation. It’s cool behind-the-scenes stuff you just can’t get anywhere else.
So check it out…and keep rooting for Big John. Hopefully he’ll get to debut in front of his family in Houston, have a big month, and earn himself a big league gig somewhere in 2011.
What a whirlwind morning. With a series of moves over the last few days, Ned was able to improve the team in four different spots – outfield, rotation, bullpen and second base (though some have said they feel it’s a wash with Theriot and DeWitt). Hopefully this is the shot in the arm the Dodgers need to go on a roll.
There’s no doubt Ned likes to make deals and at the deadline, he seems to do his best work. Obviously only time will tell how the various prospects turn out, but he’s acquired numerous likely HOFers (Manny, Maddux, Thome), and a ton of other valuable veterans that have helped enormously down the stretch (Sherrill, Belliard, Garland, Padilla, Podsednik, Dotel, Lilly and Theriot…well, we still have to see what the last four do down the stretch).
That said, it’s never easy to say goodbye to an indvidual as classy as Blake DeWitt. He’s gone through so much in the past few years and I’m not sure I can name anyone whose handled it with more grace. It’s a good opportunity for him to be closer to home, which is cool, though I’d imagine the fine folks in Sikeston, MO are going to have a hard time rooting for the Cubs in Cardinal-town. I wonder if they’ll start to carry Cubs’ games the way they carried ours!?
Chad did a great job today on short rest and as the team looks to hold on to a 1-0 lead, the team has got to be feeling pretty good about the moves that were made today. Should be a fun final two months!
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…