In Which We Try To Convince Cubs Fans That Ned Colletti Is A Good Idea

August 19, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Posted in Jim Hendry, Ned Colletti | 48 Comments

Jim Hendry, as you’ve no doubt heard, was fired by the Cubs today after just over eight years as GM.  Some of the highlights of his tenure as GM: he took a blue-clad team with a long and proud history to the playoffs three times, including two seasons in a row; he hired a big-name manager more famous for his successes elsewhere; he gave up too much for Juan Pierre; he signed Ted Lilly to a long-term deal; he had a fascination with short, white, scrappy infielders (remember, Mike Fontenot, Ryan Theriot, and Aaron Miles were all Cubs); he dealt with a messy ownership situation; and he watched as an expensive roster laden with poor choices sunk into mediocrity. Though his club certainly had their moments under his watch, ultimately it wasn’t enough to save his job.

If that all sounds familiar… well, congratulations, you’ve punctured my thinly-veiled premise of “Jim Hendry as Ned Colletti”. That alone isn’t why we’re talking about this, of course. If Colletti were to get fired in Los Angeles, you can guarantee we’d be bouncing off the walls with our favorite young prospective candidates. There’d be a Kim Ng or Logan White here, a Ben Cherington or Tony LaCava there. It’d be great. We’d have a ball, and that’s what I assume many happy Cub fans are doing right now.

Except… there’s a name that keeps popping up where you wouldn’t expect it to, a name that when I first saw it appear on Twitter, all I could do was laugh. See if you can spot who:

Jon Heyman, Sports Illustrated:

In addition to Bush, possible candidates to replace Hendy could include Pat Gillick (though he’s said he he’d prefer a team president job) plus Brian Cashman, Andrew Friedman, Ned Colletti, Rick Hahn and Josh Byrnes.

Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune (from June):

Some potential candidates long have been working behind the scenes to try to grab Hendry’s office. The Cubs easily could wind up with one of them or another happy-to-be-there GM with Kenney involved in the process. But could they get around his negative image to raid the Red Sox’s talent pool for Allard Baird or Ben Cherington or find a way to finesse Ned Colletti away from the Dodgers.

Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune (today):

Ricketts could wait a couple of months to see if guys like Cashman, Friedman or the Dodgers’ Ned Colletti become available.

Danny Knobler, CBS Sports:

Other names that are sure to come up are White Sox assistant Rick Hahn, who interviewed last year for the Mets job; Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, who grew up in the Chicago area and got his start in baseball many years ago with the Cubs; Yankees GM Brian Cashman, whose contract runs out at the end of the year (but is considered unlikely to leave); possibly Rays general manager Andrew Friedman, who has been more prominently mentioned in Houston; former Astros GM Gerry Hunsicker, working as an advisor with the Rays (and could also be a possibility in Houston); Rangers assistant Thad Levine; Blue Jays assistant Tony LaCava; and A’s assistant David Forst.

Gordon Wittenmeyer, Chicago Sun-Times (from July):

And don’t bet the house that the next GM will be an improvement, especially considering the cast of baseball newbies and wannabes who figure to be making that hire. Considering some baseball insiders believe Josh Byrnes and Ned Colletti would be near the top of the Cubs’ list, head-hunting fans might want to be careful what they wish for.

Colletti, of course, has well-known ties to Chicago; in addition to having grown up there, he got his start in baseball with the Cubs and his brother Doug has been a long-time member of the Bears radio team. (Sidenote: try to come up with a more Chicago name for two brothers than “Ned” and “Doug”. You can’t.)

It’s hard to tell if this is just “oh, the Dodgers are a mess and Colletti will either be swept out or look to jump ship, and oh, hey, he’s from Chicago right?” lazy reporting, or if there’s actual fire to this smoke. My guess is probably the former, and with so many qualified candidates out there, it’s hard to think that Cubs ownership would really want to go in this direction. (Besides, even if Colletti were to be gone in time to get the Cubs job, that would still be before the Dodger situation is sorted out, greatly limiting the external candidates who would even be interested in replacing him here.)

Still, the 0.0003% chance there’s actually a prayer of this happening is more fun to think about than the 99.9% chance that the team we’re watching right now is going to finish 74-88. So have at it, friends.

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48 Comments »

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  1. I knew I couldn’t be the only one who saw this this morning and said, “Oh, please; oh, please.”

  2. ha ha ha mike, you had me at hello

  3. “or find a way to finesse Ned Colletti away from the Dodgers.”
    Really? Is Ned desirable? I am all for this. Cmon Cubs curse! work your magic and bring Ned to Chi-town!

    • Yeah, seeing the word “finesse” next to “Ned Colletti” was jarring.

  4. Yes, this would be TOO wonderful.

  5. I so wish they’d take him. I cannot wait for him to be away from the Dodgers organization.

  6. Make it happen Cubs!!!

  7. There is a 0% chance the team will finish at 75-88.

    • Dammit, typo.

  8. They are saying the new GM is going to be a stats guy, with strong player development skills, that’s hardly Ned. He’s way to similar to Hendry to even be considered for the job.

    • I know, I know. Let us have our fun.

  9. As a Cub fan all I can say is….no.

  10. I feel too bad for the Cubs to want this to happen. Can’t Ned just get fired without having to sink another team who doesn’t deserve it?

    I’ve thought for a while that Dodgers have become the Cubs, and your first paragraph basically confirms it. Our inefficient use of money can only be described as Cub-like.

  11. The only job I want Ned to have is GM of the Giants.

    • So keep his current job?

  12. When I saw that Hendry had been canned my first thought was Colletti. However, just watched Heyman on MLB Network, and he didn’t mention Colletti as a candidate.

    Just get Schmoozer Ned outta’ here, whatever it takes.

  13. Most GMs either know stuff about baseball (baseball guys) or are stat heads. Leave it to Frank to hire a GM who is neither. Please finesse him away, Cubbies!

  14. If this scenario were to come to pass, of course, Ned would almost surely lead the Cubs to a decade of pennant-laden prosperity.

    • Did you laugh aloud while typing that? Or do you think somehow a miracle would happen to Ned akin to the Manny deal like…Pujols signs for bargain basement price with the Cubs to stick it to St. Louis for something as of yet unforeseen?

      • Not with a laugh, but with a rueful sneer. Just the snakebitten Dodgers fan in me talking, I guess…

  15. Dodger fans, I will never leave you. Yes, my heart tugs me towards the Cubs, but the Dodgers and the fans are now my true love. I plan to stay here for years and years to come to continue the wonderful progress that my BFF Frank and I have made here in Los Angeles. The hard times we’ve seen recently are solely attributable to the evil witch Jamie; with her out of the way, Frank and I will be able to move in together and spend 24 hours per day thinking of how to improve the Dodgers.


    Do not believe these rumors you are hearing. I’ve heard your support loud and clear. I will be with you forever.

    • Speaking of which, I just got a call from another team about interviewing for their GM position. Can I get your ok, Boss?

    • How do you explain that Giant’s ring you wear Neddy old goody old boy?

    • Hey, ned colletti is an imposter, I am the real Ned Colletti.

  16. I think its up to us to now just post positive feelings about Ned and how we will miss him if he goes.

  17. maybe I’m wrong but wouldn’t the dodgers finish 73-88? they never played there rainout game with the pirates, unless i missed it….

    • It’s on the schedule to be made up, still.

    • They’re playing that 1 game makeup in Pittsburgh on their road trip – I believe the game is September 1st.

  18. Please, oh please will somebody finesse Ned Colletti away from the Dodgers?

  19. Someone block DodgerDugout from my computer. I just can’t turn it off. It’s like debating with the writers of Bleacher Report.

  20. [...] Scioscia’s Tragic Illness tries to convince Cubs fans that they want Ned Colletti as their new general [...]

  21. Can’t wait for the offseason when NC is let go. It’s going to happen—I hope.

  22. if mccourt wants to rebuild his fan relationship, he can start by firing Ned. Though it wouldn’t do much for him, it would be a start no doubt!

    • Selling the team would raise my esteem for the clown.

      • Hear, hear!

  23. Hey! Chicago is my kind of town!

  24. Good post, I read it with interest, but I could not stop cracking up at the headline. Oh man, that is some funny sh%t. Thanks, MSTI!

  25. So I read the LA Times today. Apparently the stat that Ned Colletti uses is OPS. Not bad, but not good either. What shocked me is that it gets worse from there. Don Mattingly likes runs scored and Tim Wallach likes batting average with RISP!

    Just makes you shudder for this organization.

  26. Is Billingsly desitne to be a fucking .500 pitcher his whole god damn life!!!!

    • I’m so pissed i can’t even type straight. Sorry for the language.

      • ? Billingsley gave them 8 innings when they badly needed it today.

        • He was good for the most part. But he always has that one bad inning though.

        • Yes, he provided innings with a short bullpen which is something that has been difficult for him in past visits to Denver. I usually support Billingsley when other posters are hammering him, but at some point don’t we have to start looking at team results when a pitcher is on the mound. I’ll alway have a memory of Kevin Gross that appeared to pitch just well enough to lose. Whether those games were 3-2 or 6-5.

  27. [...] Mike Petriello entertains the school of thought which has Ned Colletti going to the Cubs to replace the recently-fired Jim Hendry as general manager. Entertaining for in-the-know Los Angelinos; for Chicago, not so much. [...]

  28. [...] part, all I needed to read to know that Colletti wasn’t the guy was a post entitled, “In Which We Try to Convince Cubs Fans That Ned Colletti is a Good Idea,” from the popular Dodgers blog, Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness. Bloggers and fans [...]

  29. Now that there’s some actual backing behind us dumping Ned, when do we start the topic of his replacement? I know I’m jumping the gun here, but this excites me.

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/7261934-417/friedman-colletti-cashman-on-ricketts-radar.html

  30. [...] Byrnes. He also says there is the possibility that Yankees Brian Cashman, Dodgers Ned Colletti (just say no) and Rays Andrew Friedman could become [...]

  31. [...] doubted that one of the brightest moments of his tenure was that flickering hope that the Cubs might actually be interested in bringing him [...]


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