After playing a central part in the Dodgers’ spending spree over the past couple of months, general manager Ned Colletti is about to be rewarded by the team’s new ownership group.
According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers have opened talks with Colletti on a long-term contract extension. Team chairman Mark Walter confirmed that a new deal is on the table, but said he did not know any details of the discussion. Colletti’s contract is guaranteed through this year and includes mutual options.
Colletti was hired as Dodgers’ general manager after the 2005 season. The team made the playoffs in three of his first four years on the job, but haven’t played postseason ball since 2009. Despite the high-profile additions of Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Brandon League, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett over the past two months, the Dodgers currently sit 4 1/2 games behind the Giants in the National League West and 1 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race.
It’s a little surprising to see this happen before the season ends, as it would be perfectly understandable if the new ownership group wanted to install one of their own guys if they miss out on the playoffs, but they are apparently satisfied with the status quo. And hey, the way the Dodgers are throwing coin around right now, Colletti could make more mistakes like Juan Uribe and Andruw Jones and it may not matter that much.
With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.
Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.
After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.