Ned Colletti would be a disastrous choice for Cubs GM

According to Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Sun-Times, the Cubs have been gathering information on Andrew Friedman and....Ned Colletti.  Is this a joke?  Am I really still asleep and just having a nightmare?  What's worse, according to Wittenmeyer, the Cubs are considering Colletti because they feel he can bring Ryne Sandberg in.


Three reasons why this would be a monumentally bad idea...

1)  This is backwards.  The GM is more important.  You cannot choose a GM based on who he might bring in as manager.  Players make the team and the GM brings in the players.  The manager is more like icing on the cake.  You don't put the icing down first and then try to build a cake on it.

2) Why does a Sandberg hiring require a Colletti hiring first?  Sandberg's dream job is to manage the Cubs.  He's not going to care who the GM is.

3) Ned Colletti is dreadfully incompetent.  It won't matter who the manager is.  Take a look at a list of some of his transactions...

  • Signed Juan Pierre for 5 years and $44M
  • Signed a broken down Jason Schmidt for 3 years and $47M
  • Traded top young catcher Carlos Santana for Casey Blake

Granted, he did trade Milton Bradley for Andre Ethier.  He also stuck the Cubs with Cesar Itzuris and Blake Dewitt while getting Greg Maddux and Ted Lilly in return.  So we know he's done better than Hendry in those deals...but how much is that really saying?

And what about player development?  So far, Colletti has drafted one major league player worth mentioning -- Clayton Kershaw.  There are only 2 homegrown players in their lineup: Matt Kemp and James Loney, but each made his debut in 2006 -- the year Colletti was hired, so he really had nothing to do with their development.

It's hard for me to believe that the Cubs can seriously consider hiring him based on what Wittenmeyer said.  I refuse to believe the Ricketts family can be that incompetent, but if any of this is true and the Cubs do wind up hiring Ned Colletti in what is the most important decision the Cubs have made in the Ricketts tenure, then you can pretty much bet on more frustrating years in the future.


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  • When I read the article this morning I was going wtf? Are they serious? You want to hire a GM because you know he will hire Ryne Sandberg ? That would be beyond stupid, I would hope Ricketts is not that corny and overly sentimental. I going to chalk this as bad info for now...I hope.

  • In reply to rodeosteve:

    Me too, rodeo. It has to be bad info. It makes absolutely no sense. Ricketts said he would allow the GM to hire the next manager, but if he hires Colletti, then it effectively means that he (Ricketts) is choosing the manager...and that it's so important to him that he's willing to hire a replacement that is almost exactly like his predecessor. Colletti has none of the skills that Ricketts' stated he preferred in his next GM. He won't have fresh ideas, it's the same ones recycled. It's too absurd to be true.

    Although, I have to admit Colletti has got a pretty sweet moustache.

    I suspect we're going to get a lot of bad info leading up to the hire and I hope this is the case. So far I haven't heard a peep on Cherington, by the way.

  • John ... Not only is Gordo a dope, but so is Rozner. Read his blather in the DH. grin I've actually given up reading much of the mainstream junk these days ... it's either simply absurd or feels like it's writing cuz they've got a deadline and space to fill.
    Kaplan had an SI guy on last night - that was pretty interesting stuff. He made a good case that Epstein, Cashman and Friedman have no major reason to come to Chgo. His reasoning, I thought, was sound.
    If there's good news, eliminating those 3 and Colletti means guys like Cherington get pushed closer to the head of the line!!!
    I'm not the biggest fan of Kaplan - that said, he had an interesting stat on WS, pennants, and playoffs - basically, in the greater majority of all those cases, the GM at the time had no previous experience. Not de facto proof but reasonably constructed information.
    Told a friend that Campana is like Wesley Snipes in "Major League" - every time he hits the ball in the air, he has to give the mgr 50 pushups.

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    You're probably right on that front...lots of stuff bugging me about the mainstream media on this GM search. The Coletti thing is obviously first...the other is Rick Hahn. Now I like Rick Hahn, but I keep reading writer after writer tell me how great he is for the Cubs and they don't back it up with anything other than he's a Cubs fan.and that SI voted him as the best candidate..let's hear about his player development record, his scouting ability, his ability with statistical well does he fit for what the Cubs want? I'm willing to be convinced, but none of these writers have even tried to look into it.

    Also, I did see an interview with Kaplan with Marc Tompkins of the St. Petersburg Times and he ruled out Friedmann and probably Cashman. Do you know which SI guy was on?

    Agree on Campana! Was watching Zeke DeVoss in a Boise game a while back and he hit 3 flyballs in a row...should have done some push-ups too!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Will Carroll ...

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    Thanks Moneyboy...

    Not sure I trust Carroll either, though. He wrote earlier about how he didn't include people like Cherington in his top GM list because they have it too good where they're at. That sounds ridiculous to me. Why wouldn't an Asst. GM as talented as Cherington want to see what he can do on his own, especially with a team with the resources the Cubs have?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Why would Friedman stay where he's at? Love the articles that say stuff like he has no reason to come to Chicago. Ummm yeah he does. How about the Cubs being a top 3 franchise in MLB. How about the fact he can get away from having to battle the Boston's and NYY of the world. These guys write stuff just to write. Guys like Friedman and Cherington have every reason to come to Chicago. The fact is, the Cubs gig should have almost every current GM, and EVERY assistant GM clammoring for a chance at the job.

  • In reply to dgedz27:

    I suspect an east coast bias...and in the case of Topkins, he is a writer for the Rays, of course he's going to say that Friedman isn't leaving -- that would leave them in pretty bad shape.

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    What Kaplan didn't say about his interesting stat is all those guys he mentioned that were first time GM's who were successful were ALL in house guys who were promoted (Friedman, Epstein, Cashman) all guys who came up with in their organization and were promoted to the top job. Thats a huge point he leaves out. these guys already knew the organization, already knew the talent, knew the front office staff, scouts, etc. Afirst time GM who is from out of the organization has to not only learn the organization he has to learn on the job. that's not good,

  • I am in agreement with everyone here, it's just bad reporting. If Ricketts is serious about getting a GM with "fresh" ideas then Coletti is a horrible choice. It seems like some of the writers here are just lazy and provincial. Just because Colletti and Hahn are from here , they are least that's how it seems to me. I think the Cubs are putting out feelers to Beane, Epstein and Friedman . I think that if they tur nthe Cubs down, thne you will start hearing names like Cherington and Thad Levine, among others.

  • In reply to rodeosteve:

    rodeo, I think that's a great strategy and it wouldn't surprise me if that's the one that Ricketts is taking right now. Let's see if we can land the big fish before we scale back and go for the AGMs. But if they don't get one of the big 3 (or 4 if you count Cashman), then there's no way they should be settling for the Colletti's of the world just because they have experience. Experience creating disasters shouldn't count.

  • I am looking at this as needing something to read in the waiting room.

    Ricketts knows the interview and narrowing process won't really start for 6 weeks at the earliest and two and a half months if some of the players are associated with World Series contenders. Ricketts has said he wants "to be able to hit the ground running." and is doing background on many fringe and non contenders as well as people of interest. How people became GM's, How people succeeded at GM, How people failed as GM. At what age, what backgrounds work best for new GM candidates. The more knowledge Ricketts acquires, the better he'll be when he actually starts talking to people.

    So reading material while in the waiting room. I'm going with that. The alternative scares me...

  • In reply to felzz:

    felzz...that sounds logical and I really, really hope this is the case!

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    First off, Barry Rozner hasn't been right about anything since I first got on the internet many moons ago. However, he does have penchant for sensationalism. I'm sure the Sun Times is getting all kinds of hits over this piece. Second, it makes no sense, because they don't need to hire Colletti to get Sandberg. The easiest way to do that would be to hire Pat Gillick, and Gillick would bring Sandberg with him.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Rozner wrote one of those Hahn pieces I was referring to in an earlier comment. In fact, his is the one that ticked me off the most. He declared Hahn as the best candidate in his headline and spent the rest of the article writing about tangents. Just a lousy article to say the least. It's like everybody is just taking the hot name and jumping on the bandwagon without fully understanding what they're talking about.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I've always felt that while Sandberg would be great he couldn't and wouldn't have done any more to make this team successful. Just a bad group. One of the things Carroll said was that everyone knew that it was going to be a bad group - the window for success closed - essentially - in '08.
    Agreed on Rozner. Only can hope the ST is getting tons of flack. The Trib's "mini-me" (Sullivan) is just as pathetic.
    Ryne certainly went about his business in (what seems to me) the right way. He'll certainly get some slack if he ever does come here.

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    Feel the same way...whatever manager came this year was set-up to fail. Not that it excuses Quade, but it was a bad situation this year: Aging Veterans + a farm system where the talent was at AA and below. That's no-man's land.

  • I think this is not only a good read but very, very good news !!!!

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    I just re-tweeted that one!

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    There is one thing I want to say about Sandberg and Hendry. Does anyone ever stop to consider that Hendry actually did Sandberg a favor? Now there is no possible way that Sandberg can be blamed for any of this. In fact, he should be grateful for having been spared the head ache, and Sandberg, being the smart guy he is, probably knows this somewhere in the reaches of his mind. This doesn't excuse the fact that he was lied to by Hendry from day one or how he was treated, but in all honesty, he was done a huge favor. Now the door may be open for him to return, if not as the manager, possibly as a bench coach or third base coach. Of course, that all depends upon the personalities involved. Any manager hiring Sandberg as part of his staff would have to know he is likely hiring his successor, and he and Sandberg both would have to be comfortable with it, or it would never work.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Michael -- Totally agree. Felt that way from the start.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I think it would have to be an older manager, like how the Nats are going with Davey Johnson. Then you have a guy you know is probably on limited time and can groom Sandberg as his successor.

    But yeah, the Cubs did give Sandberg a chance. He didn't have to go through the ranks. He was given a managerial position right off the bat, so Hendry did a lot for him. Then you have to give Sandberg his due as well, he's taken that opportunity and run with it. He's making himself into a legitimate managerial candidate.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree. It would have to be an older manager, but I think Sandberg and the Cubs destiny are intertwined at some point.

  • Great responses to this morning's brain-bender. I thing rodeosteve nailed it (at least I'm praying he did) with the term "provincial writing." (Thanks Rodeo...I was trying to think of something like that!)

    My first thought was something along the lines of let's stop with the Colletti fetish already. Then, I got to worrying...what if Ricketts didn't have the leadership strength (I'll be professional) to override Hendry if Ricketts really wanted him to hire Sandberg for 2011, and instead hoped that Hendry better have gotten this right? (...and finally got fed up when 2011 unfolded the way it did)

    OK, I'll stop there. I find it impossible to believe that there is anything more going on here than journalistic space-filling; in the absence of real news, create news. (Phil Rogers is pretty good at this.) Tim Brown's Yahoo Sports article pretty much nailed it: The Cubs are going to be able to get who they want for the GM position; they are not going to have to settle. And I'm with you guys. It's going to be a top-tier (not Colletti) candidate. So I'm going to take a deep, deep breath and let the process play out. (And I won't share the details about my nightmare where Ricketts announced the hiring of Allard Baird as the new Cubs GM, who immediately announced the hiring of Tony Muser as the Cubs new field manager...)

  • In reply to kansasblackhawk:

    I nearly spit out my coffee when I saw the name Tony Muser!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I wanted to stay with the great mustache theme.

  • In reply to kansasblackhawk:

    I'd be okay if we got the moustache to come to Chicago but left Colletti behind.

  • In reply to kansasblackhawk:

    Kansas - nicely done ... esp nearly getting John to spit up his cawfee. I thought Brown did a really nice job as well.

    I think I sent this to John ... but here it is for everyone's info:

    Looks to me like mid-October is "go date". Want whomever it is to have time to study the organ-I-zation top to bottom. Dec. 1 is when winter activity kicks in.

    This blog is wonderful ... but I'm going to just pray and relax.

  • Upon reflection, had to laugh (at myself included). We're a pretty panicky lot! After re-reading the Wit article, I'r pretty sure his purpose behind the article was to answer "Which prospective Cubs GM could bring in one of the two more popular ex-Cub prospective managerial candidates?"

  • In reply to kansasblackhawk:

    Cub fans are the panicky sort. I think it's in our DNA. But I have to admit part of is that I relished an opportunity to re-state how bad a choice Ned Colletti would be. It can't be said enough, in my opinion.

  • fb_avatar

    John, did you see my comments when I posted this article on FB?

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I haven't yet. Haven't been on FB much today. Will log in again...

    Haha! You'd really burn all your Cubs gear? My first memory of disavowing myself from the Cubs was when I was a kid and they traded my favorite player at the time, Bill Madlock, for freakin' Steve Ontiveros and the shell of Bobby Murcer. Swore off the Cubs forever. In reality, it probably lasted about 15 minutes. A Colletti hiring may be a little harder to bounce back from, though!

  • I have not read the piece in question (and never will), but I cannot believe any of it. Say what you will about the Worldwide Leader, but I have always thought Buster Olney was well connected, and this is what he had to say about the Cubs GM job:
    (I hope the link works.) Anyway, the upshot is that the Cubs GM job is THE hot item, and many of the top-rank GM's (Friedman, et al) are at least interested. I would venture that all of baseball has seen the Cubs' no-holds-barred approach to signing their drafted players and Ricketts following through on his stated approach for building the team. I agree completely with what felzz wrote above. Ricketts is doing what any self-respecting UofC graduate would do: his research in order to hire the best GM possible.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Great video... a couple of nice little nuggets in there. I'll link it on my twitter feed so people can just click on it.

  • I'm taking this with a grain of salt. I'm sure they're planning on gathering info on a lot of guys, doubt after they look at the info he makes the next cut. Also, this could just be a pure rumor as it doesn't seem logical (esp with the Ryno thing), and TR has a desire to perform this search behind closed doors. He kept the Hendry thing secret for a month, doubt this story holds water.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I don't think it does either. It just doesn't make any sense. Colletti is too much like Hendry and if you want a new direction, he's not going to give it to you.

    Ricketts himself said he wouldn't talk about the candidates and I'm sure we will get a lot more wild speculation as it drags on. Some stuff will make sense, but this isn't one of them.

  • Shouldn't they still be writing about the Hendry/Pujols hug?

    The mentality of the average Cubs fan has changed since the worst four years in cub history. (2003 - we lose --- 2004 - Red Sox ---- 2005 - White Sox --- 2006 - Cardinals). It appears ownership is embracing this change. If they hire the right guy, everything else will fall into place. The growing a nice core in the minors. With the right signing, our arrow will definitely be pointed up.

  • I may be in a minority, but I think Colletti would be the best thing to happen to the Cubs since Maddux, who, by the way, he was smart enough to bring to the Dodgers twice. Don't forget, this guy took a Dodgers team that was floundering and brought them to the NLCS two years in a row, sweeping us once when we should have coasted in. Since he came to the Dodgers in 2006, Los Angeles pitchers have the lowest earned run average in baseball. He knows how to put a team together. And he's done it straddled with Frank McCourt's financial mess. Imagine what he could do with a real owner like Tom Ricketts.

  • In reply to AbnerDoubleday:

    You would definitely be in the minority but you do make a good argument for the other side.

    But I still disagree ;)

    My feeling with Colletti is that he's just another Hendry or Kenny Williams where he just tries to put parts together from one season to the next-- and once in a while things just come together. There is no system in place to make the team competitive year after year. I think we'd see something very similar to what we saw with Hendry -- swinging wildly from good teams to bad ones. You could get lucky that way as the Sox did in 2005, but I think your best chances are when you come into every season with a competitive team and a steady flow of talent. We won't get that with Colletti.

  • I can tell you first hand that Ned Collette was one of the toughest negotiators I had to do business with when he was with the Giants so I wouldn't say that he is incompetent.
    On the other hand, I don't disagree with your analysis either. You may want to consider Logan White the Dodgers Assistant GM. I explain my reasoning more thoroughly at:

  • In reply to Lawscout:

    Thanks for the insight on Colletti. I do know he spent some time as a negotiator. That's certainly a skill that Hendry didn't seem to possess.

    Interesting piece. Logan White is a nice candidate. I like him better than Colletti because of his player development record. I believe, though, that the Cubs are going to shoot for the moon on this one. They may not get it, but they won't be too far off. It wouldn't surprise me to see White become a GM someday, but I just don't see it happening with the Cubs.

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