Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ned and Grady Get Along Real Good

"I hope my hair stays dark forever."

From "Little could get contract extension" from the L.A. Times:

With the Dodgers' chances of landing a power hitter before spring training dwindling, extending the contract of Manager Grady Little is one of the few loose ends.

Little and General Manager Ned Colletti have developed such a strong relationship that neither man considers the matter urgent. It will get done soon enough, either by the Dodgers picking up the 2008 club option that was written into Little's original two-year deal or by renegotiating the deal entirely.

A high-level team source said Monday that Little would not begin the season in the awkward situation he found himself in with the Boston Red Sox in 2003. Despite having led the Red Sox to a 93-69 record the previous year, Little was left in limbo by the front office and went through the season as a lame duck. He was fired despite posting a 95-67 record.

With Colletti building the roster and Little guiding it through a turbulent season, the Dodgers improved their victory total by 17 games and made the playoffs with an 88-74 record. Although Little's game strategy occasionally came under criticism, Colletti and owner Frank McCourt recognized the manager's success in coaxing contributions from veterans while integrating a flood of young players.

"We had a real good first year together," Colletti said.

Whatever you think of Grady, this team needs stability (i.e., McCourt not firing the GM every two years). Ned's signed through 2009, so don't be surprised if Grady is extended through then.