Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Ned Colletti: Grammatically Unsound, and Confused, Too!

The latest chat with Ned Colletti brings up some interesting quotes, not the least of which was his comment to a question regarding everyone's favorite centerfielder for the next five years, Juan Pierre:

gelomac: Mr. Colletti, how do you feel about signing Juan Pierre? Do you think it is a mistake or do you think you did the right thing?

COLLETTI: One of the things you have to take into account is the makeup of the club at the time the deal was signed. We see Juan Pierre as a very good complimentary player. When we signed him, we didn't expect him to carry the club. Our expectations were for him to be on base over 200 times and steal 50-plus bases. It's also only four months into his first season in a new city, and I think we have to wait a little longer before we make judgments on what he can or can't do.

I highly doubt that Pierre was signed to be a "complimentary" player, though I have seen a lot of Dodgers press releases speaking to Pierre's incredible work ethic, great demeanor, every-day play, etc. As much as it kills me to see every baserunner take two bases on Pierre on all singles hit to center, or Pierre's all-too-common fly balls lacking even warning-track power, or the fact that he is apparently the hardest person to strike out in the National League--I admit that it's hard to hate the guy since he seems like a nice gentleman who tries hard. Unfortunately, though, trying hard doesn't compensate for the most invisible stolen base numbers I have ever seen (in that the stolen bases don't seem to result in runs scored). Pierre has become such a black hole, both offensively and defensively, that it's hard to imagine many "compliments" going his way.

Perhaps Colletti meant that Pierre was a "complementary" player--but even that is suspect. Complementary to whom? To Luis Gonzalez, whose small fielding range amplifies the problem with singles hit to the outfield? To Rafael Furcal, who was already set as the leadoff hitter in the lineup (and is having a substandard year of his own, I might add)? To jaunty cap-wearing fans everywhere? I can only surmise that Colletti meant to type "complementary," but I can't figure out to whom he was referring.

Besides the grammatical woes, however, it's hard not to notice the spin campaign put on by Colletti, who (along with Frank "M.I.A." McCourt and Grady "Loathe-To-Try-Something-New" Little) should rightfully be feeling the heat for the Dodgers' freefall into the NL West abyss. Here's what Colletti said back in December 2006, right after he signed Pierre:

"Everybody we've added brings something special," said Colletti. "They've been through many seasons, many winning seasons, and they come in with a certain perspective that a player who hasn't been through it can't have. They've been through the peaks and valleys, the ups and downs, and know how to keep it going in the right direction. When they walk in the room, everybody knows who they are and what they bring."

Why do I have the sinking feeling that Colletti didn't know why he signed Pierre in the first place?!?! Is he complImentary? ComplEmentary? Sedimentary? All I know is, we've got a five-year, $44M contract, without a lot of rationale. And despite Colletti's plea not to rush to judgment, the first four months of this experiment do not seem to be paying off for the Dodgers. And we've got 26 more months to go....

So what else did Colletti say during that fateful December press release? Funny you ask:

"Jason is as durable as anybody on our staff -- just look at the innings he's thrown," the GM said. "There's always a risk, but [Dodger trainer Stan] Conte knows him well. We feel he's fine. With the innings he's pitched, this guy stays in shape. He works out all winter."

Don't get me started.


Johnny Blanchard said...

I guess the mistake's already made and it's not like Ned's going to trade him right now. No, Pierre is not yet the reason to pillory Colletti. HOWEVER, if he were to continue this crap play through the end of this year until say, 2-3 months of next year, and he is still in the lineup everyday... oooh boy. It'll be on.

Orel said...

To be fair(ish), do we know that Ned himself was typing or dictating?