Colletti stands behind critical comments

Colletti stands behind critical comments

NEW YORK -- Dodgers general manager Ned Coletti didn't back down from his critical comments about his last-place club on Wednesday, issued the previous day in a KABC Radio interview.

"Overall, I'm not satisfied with the presentation, I'm not satisfied with the execution and I'm not satisfied with the thought process," Colletti said of the Dodgers this season. "It starts with me and goes to the manager and coaching staff and everybody playing the game."

Colletti admitted that he has been more candid publicly than usual on the subject.

"Normally I temper my thoughts, but at some point in time, you can't kid yourself either," he said.

The only clarification Colletti made was in regards to his comments criticizing Matt Kemp's baserunning and defense, while at least suggesting Kemp might be affected by his two-year, $10.95 million contract.

"I didn't single Matt Kemp out," he said. "I responded to a question about Matt Kemp from Peter [Tilden, morning show host]."

Nonetheless, Colletti is unhappy with Kemp's play.

"I don't see the same player I saw last year," Colletti said. "Maybe it's early, maybe that's what it is. It's not just Matt. I haven't seen it across the board, with rare exception. I don't want to make this [only about] Matt Kemp.

"The Dodgers are 8-12. We have more errors than anybody in the league, maybe in baseball. We're last in fielding in the league. This team a year ago was in the top three in hitting, pitching, defense. We're in the top half hitting, the lower half pitching and the bottom defensively. If they had a category for execution, we'd be in the bottom half of that, too.

"It's time to get better, because with rare exception, it's the same club as last year. And last year, we won 95 games with Manny Ramirez missing 50 of them. We had one of our top pitchers, Chad [Billingsley], have a tough second half. Russell [Martin] had a tough time and we still won 95 with basically the same club.

"For me, it's all about presentation and effort. If we were up to standards that we as an organization and Joe [Torre] set and we were 8-12, so be it. But until that gets better, something needs to get better. I see a lack of execution. I think the effort is OK."

Colletti said that considering the nucleus of the current club reached the National League Championship Series the past two seasons, it is not fulfilling expectations.


"It's time to get better, because with rare exception, it's the same club as last year. And last year, we won 95 games with Manny Ramirez missing 50 of them."
-- Ned Colletti

"The expectations grow when you get to that point," he said. "You don't expect to watch a 20-game stretch where there's not progress. At worst case, you expect the same and some degree of progress. You don't expect to see backward movement.

"Our record is 8-12, and the part that I'm most concerned with is presentation. They don't look like last year, when Manny was suspended for 50 games and they looked around and said, 'Let's go,' and they went 29-21 without arguably the best offensive player on the club."

Colletti and the organization have been criticized for not making major improvements in the pitching staff, which has required severe patchwork just to find enough starters for the current stretch, including the use of John Ely in his Major League debut Wednesday.

But the general manager said not to expect any immediate help from outside the organization, either trade or a free agent sitting out like Braden Looper, Pedro Martinez, Jarrod Washburn, etc.

"It's not like going to the mall and picking up a pitcher," Colletti said. "It's got to be the right guy at the right time and the right price in players and prospects. To expect somebody who's throwing on a high school field to get signed and in 10 days start a big league game?"

But Colletti said he remains convinced he has the right pieces.

"I expect it to improve," he said. "I don't doubt we have the right guys. I just think we need to play better."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.