Ned Colletti says radio remarks about players were ‘probably said in jest’
Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti said he was not implying that some of his players on the disabled list should not be there when he used the words “safe haven” and “vacation” in discussing the DL on a morning radio show Tuesday.
In the latest of his on-air conversations with KABC 790’s Peter Tilden, Colletti noted how the Dodgers have been hit hard by injuries this season.
Then Colletti added: “Sometimes you wonder what the thought process is too. The disabled list used to be some place a player never wanted to go. And now it might be a safe haven, it might be a couple of weeks’ vacation.
“You just hope everybody is doing everything they can to get back and play,” Colletti said.
Asked about the remarks before Tuesday night’s game at Dodger Stadium, Colletti said “I don’t know how it came out,” but that implying his players weren’t trying to get healthy “wasn’t my intent.”
“We’ve had a lot of guys go out, and from what I can see they’re all trying to get back,” he said. “They’re not happy to be there [on the DL].
“The couple weeks’ vacation, that was probably said in jest,” Colletti said. “I have fun with Peter Tilden all the time.”
Shortstop Rafael Furcal and relievers Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo are among the six Dodgers on the DL.
This is the third time Colletti’s appearance on Tilden’s show has raised questions.
Early in the 2010 season, Colletti made comments about center fielder Matt Kemp’s play that drew a strong rebuke from Kemp’s agent and sparked weeks of controversy.
And early this season, Colletti’s remarks about Broxton led Broxton to believe he no longer was the team’s sole closer, prompting Colletti and Manager Don Mattingly to quickly reaffirm that Broxton remained the closer. Broxton then went on the DL in early May.
Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt has met the team’s Wednesday payroll, two people familiar with the Dodgers’ finances said.
McCourt is five for five in making payroll this season, even after Commissioner Bud Selig tabled a long-term television contract with Fox that McCourt said had been factored into the Dodgers’ financial planning for this season.
Without the revenue from that contract, McCourt met the Dodgers’ first three payrolls with a $30-million personal loan from Fox and met the May 31 and June 15 payrolls by juggling payment schedules.
However, with a wave of deferred payments coming due, McCourt needs about $30 million — roughly triple the usual amount — to meet the June 30 payroll. The Dodgers appear to have “no chance” to meet that payroll without a cash infusion from that Fox contract, according to a person familiar with the team’s finances.
Meanwhile, McCourt and his ex-wife, Jamie, held settlement talks out of court Tuesday, after close to nine hours of talks Monday at Los Angeles Superior Court in an effort to resolve their divorce.
The settlement discussions were ongoing. It is unclear how Frank McCourt would finance a settlement if Selig does not approve the Fox contract.