The Dodgers are laying most of the blame for their underachieving team on the man who constructed it.
Mark Walter, chairman of Guggenheim Baseball, would not comment on the team's plans when interviewed Tuesday night in St. Louis after the Dodgers lost the
Ownership is disappointed with how Colletti constructed a roster that, despite costing a record $240 million, lacked the pieces to compete with the versatile Cardinals. The Dodgers payroll is expected to drop into the $185-190-million range next season to offset expected financial losses from the unworkable television contract with
A common perception was that Manager Don Mattingly's job also would be in danger after he made several questionable strategical decisions against the Cardinals, but ownership liked how he had handled a combustible clubhouse and will give him at least another season to smooth out his rough managerial edges. Their patience might not stretch to Colletti, even though he deftly led the Dodgers to five playoff berths in his nine seasons here, most notably consecutive
But under new Dodgers owners who didn't hire him, Colletti is viewed as someone who gives away too much money to older veterans, particularly in a Dodgers bullpen whose lack of trustworthy arms led to their three-games-to-one series loss to the Cardinals.
An exhausted Kershaw was stranded on the mound long enough to allow 11 runs in two losses, while the other Dodgers loss was absorbed by
Brian Wilson was the most troublesome to Colletti's future, as he was working on a $10-million deal with an $10-million player option for next year while producing a 4.66 earned-run average and four blown saves in five attempts. League, another former closer, was equally as disappointing while pitching as a middle reliever in the second year of a three-year, $22.5-million deal. Colletti actually had added a third former All-Star closer to the bullpen,
The bullpen was the focus of ownership's concerns, although other contracts were considered excessive.
Then there was
Virtually all of these signings occurred when there was no other options, as Colletti was often hindered by a struggling Dodgers farm system that only recently has started to produce. Colletti was consistent in making whatever deal gave the team the best chance to win, and deserves special recognition for winning during the final budget-constrained years of McCourt.
But in two years under Guggenheim, despite being armed with baseball's deepest riches, he failed to take the team to the World Series, where it hasn't been since 1988. This season, the Dodgers took a step backward in their most frustrating postseason series loss since 1985.
Nearly a decade after rebuilding the Dodgers to prominence, Colletti could pay the price for not keeping them there.