Colletti’s Comment

Honest self-evaluation is difficult. For a general manager like Ned Colletti that task is complicated further by exterior forces. If Colletti incorrectly evaluates his team’s chances at making the playoffs he has to answer to a testy owner and media alike. As it turns out, that seems only to be an issue when the general manager sells off and admits his team was never heading to the postseason at that point in time. With Collettti, he won’t admit it. At least not explicitly.

Placing players like Manny Ramirez on waivers is at least implicitly accepting the Dodgers’ post-season fate. Yet here is what Colletti told Bob Nightengale earlier today:

BNightengale GM Ned Colletti on moving trading Manny Ramirez: “Not inclined to move anyone so long as we have a chance.”

Colletti is correct in saying the Dodgers still have a chance. In the truest sense, the Dodgers still have a chance. Baseball Prospectus puts those chances at 3.5%. The two teams with the most similar playoff probabilities to the Dodgers are the Florida Marlins and Oakland Athletics. Now, economic differences and all, the Marlins sold on Jorge Cantu and let Cody Ross walk without return. The Athletics did not sell, but they did not buy either. The Dodgers did buy on Scott Podsednik, Octavio Dotel, Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot, and they also claimed Rod Barajas.

It doesn’t even take a fancy simulation to realize how unlikely the Dodgers reaching the playoffs really is. The National League West top four looks like this:

SDP 76-50
SFG 71-57
COL 66-60
LAD 66-62

That puts the teams’ winning percentages and games remaining totals at:

SDP 60.3%, 36
SFG 55.4%, 34
COL 52.4%, 36
LAD 51.6%, 34

Assume every other team in the division plays 10% worse the rest of the way than they have to date, meaning San Diego plays like a .500 team, Colorado like a .420 team, and so on. Then the Dodgers have to play at a rate above .800 to match the Padres and a rate above .600 to finish in second place. That’s one hell of a hypothetical to be encouraged about your tournament hopes.

Ramirez is a free agent in few weeks, meaning if the White Sox are willing to offer value that exceeds the potential compensatory picks – frankly, I’m not sure the Dodgers can afford to offer Ramirez arbitration – then Colletti and crew should happily ship Ramirez and his drying eggs to the Midwest. The same thought should apply to Hiroki Kuroda and even Lilly. The Dodgers should have sold at the deadline (or at least, should not have bought) but they should be willing to amend that mistake if the opportunity arises.

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Well, first of all, there is the Wild Card race in which the Dodgers are a lot closer to the top. You fail to even mention that. Secondly, the Pads, Giants and Rockies would seem to be a lot more likely to collapse down the stretch than, say, the Yankees. Remember the Philly-Mets race a couple of years ago? Colletti is absolutely right to thing the Dodgers still have a chance.


He absolutely mentions that when he says that even if the Giants (and Rockies) played at .100 below their winning percentage so far for the rest of their games, the Dodgers would need to play .600 baseball to get in.

They’re done. We’ve been expecting a Padres collapse all year long and it hasn’t happened. Now you’re thinking two of these three teams could actually simultaneously collapse? Quit dreaming.


Only 4 out in the WC race after last night. Of course the Dodgers are still in it! You don’t even need to forecast a collapse by other teams. All the Dodgers have to do is keep winning and they will close the gap. As you can tell by my handle, I don’t particularly like saying that, but it’s the truth.