The news today is that the Dodgers have signed general manager Ned Colletti to a contract extension.
I'm not a fan of Colletti, but I'm not shattered by the news. Baseball is a pretty staid operation. Organizations stay with what works, even if the results aren't the best, even if they're basing the signing on seasons from three, four years ago. That's why George Steinbrenner stood out, because if something didn't work instantly, he fired it. That really doesn't happen very often, and why Colletti's return is no surprise.
Colletti rose to L.A. GM stardom by acquiring Manny Ramirez in '08. But since that time Colletti is basically known for acquiring duds (Andruw Jones, Juan Pierre) and trading away prospects (Carlos Santana, James McDonald).
His legacy, and future with the Dodgers, will hinge on the outcome of the Adrian Gonzalez trade with the Red Sox. Did the Dodgers give up too much, or, more importantly, will the new acquisitions lead to Dodger greatness?
GMs are fans' whipping boys. There isn't much they can do that won't get criticized. And, like all fans, I remember the players that got away more than anything when recalling past GMs.
The most painful "player that got away" for the Dodgers is Pedro Martinez, a trade that happened under Fred Claire's watch. From a personal standpoint, the most painful trade was when my favorite player, Ron Cey, was dealt to the Cubs for a minor leaguer by GM Al Campanis.
Today, the trade that still irks me, because I see him in the boxscores everyday, is the Dodgers dealing Paul Konerko to the Reds for reliever Jeff Shaw. Konerko, of course, is in season No. 14 for the White Sox and has compiled more than 400 career home runs.
I have plenty of cards of Konerko as a Dodger -- many more than I do of him as a Chicago White Sox. But Konerko hit a grand total of four home runs for the Dodgers, back in 1998 -- before he was traded on July 4th to Cincinnati by Dodgers interim GM Tommy Lasorda.
(By the way, the Reds' trade of Konerko to the White Sox for Mike Cameron wasn't so hot either. But at least the next year Cameron helped the Reds land Ken Griffey Jr.).
I can't be the only one continuing to agonize over a trade my team made more than a decade ago. Anyone else still bothered by their team's past deals?
Night Card Binder candidate: Paul Konerko, 2006 Upper Deck National Baseball Card Day, #10
Does it make the binder?: Yup. So I can relive the pain all over again.