Say it isn’t so: Are Dodgers GM Ned Colletti’s Giants roots still running strong?
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It’s an easy thing to say, and almost funny, if it weren’t actually so uncomfortably disturbing.
Really, there could be worse things for a Dodgers fan to imagine, though it would take some effort.
But here is the fear: The man whose job it is to make the Dodgers a winner, secretly loves the San Francisco Giants.
And Magic Johnson hangs a Celtics banner in his family room.
Still, like a good conservative conspiracy theory, the view is out there: Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti actually bleeds orange and black.
Colletti, of course, was an assistant GM with the Giants to Brian Sabean before being hired to direct the Dodgers. Some team followers will never get past that.
Colletti has brought a few Giants to the Dodgers, from trainer Stan Conte to pitching disaster Jason Schmidt to this past offseason’s Juan Uribe.
Then there is this -- his son, Lou, is a scout for the Giants. Worse, maybe, is this quote Colletti gave John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle in December on the Giants capturing the World Series:
‘I’ve got to admit, I had tears in my eyes when they won. I had tears in my eyes when they beat Philly (in the NLCS) because we had been there the last two years. I knew how tough it was. I knew what they were up against. When they beat Texas, same thing. It was a very emotional time for me.’
Said Sabean to Shea: ‘He’ll always be a Giant, and he’ll always be a dear friend.’
That can’t warm the cockles of hearts that bleed blue.
Ask Colletti if the Giants’ organization has served as his role model over the years and you have to wait for his initial reaction to subside before he answers.
‘I guess now it would be OK to be like them?’ Colletti asked, laughing. ‘I don’t know. I think that one of the similarities between Brian and myself is finding as many players who love to play and want to play it the right way. I don’t know that we’ve brought in more Giants than any other team.’
He hasn’t, actually. But if you’re a Dodgers fan, it’s one thing to sign a couple of Indians or Pirates, and something else to bring in a player reeking of garlic fries.
‘It doesn’t matter to me where they come from,’ Colletti said. ‘It matters to me is who they are and how they play. We tried to get Uribe before he went to San Francisco. Him going to San Francisco has nothing to do with him being here now.’
Colletti spent 11 years with the Giants, so something naturally had to rub off. Yet he doesn’t think that makes him unique in the type of players he tries to add to the Dodgers.
‘With character, with a hard-nosed edge to them,’ he said. ‘Not everybody has it, but that is a similar trait that Sabean is always cognizant of, and so am I. That doesn’t make us different than any other team. I think a lot of teams would tell you the same thing.’
It’s just that a lot of teams aren’t the San Francisco Giants.
-- Steve Dilbeck