My colleague Jill Painter got some one-on-one time with Frank this morning. Among other things, she asked him about Ned’s contract status and whether there is an extension in the offing. Ned is in the final season of a four-year deal, but there is a mutual option for next year. Anyway, Frank had little to say on the matter, but depending on how you interpret this, he MIGHT be saying Ned’s job depends on the team winning the division in 2009. In all honesty, that probably ISN’T what he is saying, but I could definitely see how these comments might be read that way. It is woth nothing that the Dodgers have made the playoffs in two of Colletti’s first three seasons and last year won a playoff series for the first time in 20 years.
Anyway, this is what Frank told Jill:
“Those are conversations I’ll have with Ned. Those are going to be private conversations. What I can say is that Ned’s doing a fabulous job, and we’re going to set out this year to win that division title again. That’s what we need to do, and try to win a world championship. That’s the promise we’ve made to our fans. The first step is winning
the division title again, which would be the first time, I believe, in 31 years that the Dodgers have won back-to-back division titles.
We’re definitely on the right track, and I give Ned a large amount of
credit for that.”
(When does he want to decide on Ned’s contract?)
“Those are private matters. I’ve learned in my five years of doing this that there are certain types of conversations you talk about and other topics that you really need to stay as a private conversation. Otherwise, it’s a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t. I just don’t want it to get to that. Those conversations will be private. People
will know when it’s relevant. We’ll communicate that.”