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Colletti Is Next on List

Times Staff Writer

The Dodgers intend to interview Ned Colletti, vice president and assistant general manager of the San Francisco Giants, for their general manager opening.

Colletti, 50, has been affiliated with the Giants for 11 years, the last nine as General Manager Brian Sabean’s assistant, and is well thought of in baseball circles, particularly as a negotiator.

Dodger owner Frank McCourt fired general manager Paul DePodesta on Oct. 29, after what McCourt perceived to be a botched manager search. He has since spoken to a handful of potential candidates, including Pat Gillick, Gerry Hunsicker, John Hart, Theo Epstein, Dennis Gilbert, Kim Ng and Colletti, and interviewed Gillick and Ng. Gilbert, a Chicago White Sox executive, also is expected to interview.

Ng is believed to have drawn the curiosity of the Red Sox, who on Wednesday interviewed Washington General Manager Jim Bowden, Atlanta director of player personnel Dayton Moore and Minnesota assistant general manager Wayne Krivsky. The Red Sox have not asked permission to contact Ng, however.

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McCourt and Hart have spoken twice by telephone, and baseball sources claim Hart has been to Los Angeles and met with McCourt, though Hart denies it.

Hart told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Wednesday that he is deciding whether to be a formal candidate.

McCourt has spoken to Colletti by phone, and it is unknown when Colletti will interview. McCourt, through a spokesperson, declined to comment.

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Ng and Roy Smith, Dodger acting general managers, spoke to Craig Landis, who represents free-agent first baseman Paul Konerko, Tuesday night.

While the Dodgers are expected to continue conversations with Landis after Friday, when organizations can begin to discuss financial terms, they would appear to be at a disadvantage; they have no general manager or manager, and McCourt has not divulged a timetable for the hires.

Landis said Ng and Smith addressed the issue of the vacancies with him during their meeting, asking whether the uncertainty at general manager and manager would dissuade Konerko from considering the Dodgers. “He’ll care about both,” Landis said. “Paul’s astute on how you put a team together. He certainly wouldn’t sign on anywhere without knowing who the manager is.”

If free agency moves fast, Landis granted, the Dodgers might not be in a position to compete for Konerko, but he wouldn’t rule them out.

“Even though they’ve been down a little bit, I don’t think it’s necessarily permanent,” he said. “They could be like USC football. The Dodgers still have that brand name that’s easier to bring back to life.”

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Commissioner Bud Selig, on his concern about the current state of the Dodgers: “I try not to comment on these things. Everybody wants to do the best for their franchise. I’m sure the McCourts do too, and they’ll get the train back on the track.” ... DePodesta, who has received inquiries from several clubs, said he is considering whether he wants to return to baseball immediately.... The Dodgers have offered Milton Bradley to almost every team they’ve met with and continue to find resistance because of his history.... In potential trades that would require the Dodgers to give up a starting pitcher, they are offering Odalis Perez, according to several officials from other teams.... Texas second baseman Alfonso Soriano, who will be a free agent after next season, has been discussed in Dodger circles, and is available.... The Dodgers have not spoken to Arn Tellem, the agent for Nomar Garciaparra, but planned to before the end of the meetings. Garciaparra is willing to play third base for the Dodgers.


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