Colletti agrees to long-term extension

The Dodgers and general manager Ned Colletti have come to an agreement on a multi-year contract extension that will be announced later today.

Colletti and the club had a mutual option for next season, but after guiding the team to back-to-back National League West titles for the first time since 1977-78, it has been widely expected Colletti would soon earn an extension.

Colletti was hired after the 2005 season, inheriting a club that went 71-91. Since then, the Dodgers have made the playoffs in four of five years. They have the second best won-loss record in the NL during Colletti’s tenure, behind only Philadelphia, whom they currently trail in the NLCS three games to one.

Jamie McCourt has no plans of giving up ownership involvement

The lawyer for Dodgers’ chief executive officer Jamie McCourt said Thursday that his client has no plans of surrendering her ownership involvement with the Dodgers or her position with the club.

Jamie McCourt, who confirmed her separation from Dodgers owner Frank McCourt on Wednesday, is the highest ranking woman in Major League Baseball.

Her lawyer, Dennis M. Wasser, said that his client had chosen to publicly respond because Frank McCourt’s lawyer, Marshall Grossman, had made public statements about the situation late Wednesday night.

“We are disappointed that Mr. McCourt’s attorney has chosen to express legal positions in the press, in violation of the parties’ specific agreement not to make any public statements about this private matter,” Wasser said.

“Jamie McCourt had desired to just focus on the Dodgers’ success in postseason play. However Jamie and her attorneys now feel she must briefly respond.”

Wasser said that he disagreed with Grossman’s statement that Frank McCourt is the sole owner of the Dodgers and that, “We are confident that if the ownership issue must be adjudicated, the Dodgers will be determined to be community property owned 50 percent by each of the McCourts.”

That determination would be at the heart of any dispute of community property, should the couple divorce.

California law holds that a divorce asset be divided 50-50 between the two parties, which is problematic with a major league baseball franchise that must, by league rule, have only one controlling owner.

A similar situation led to the sale of the San Diego Padres in February, when owner John Moores sold the team as part of a divorce settlement with his wife Becky.

McCourts separate

By Ramona Shelburne
Staff Writer

Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and his wife Jamie McCourt have separated, raising questions about the future of the organization on the eve of the National League Championship Series.

Frank McCourt has owned the Dodgers since 2004. The couple confirmed their separation Wednesday night in a statement issued through the club.

Frank McCourt serves as the club’s owner and chairman. Jamie McCourt serves as Chief Executive Officer.

“This is a personal matter and they request that their privacy be respected,” the statement said.

There has been no official mention of a divorce, but the potential impact on the organization is clear.

In February San Diego Padres owner John Moores sold the team to former agent Jeff Moorad, a move precipitated by his divorce.

California law requires that you divide a divorce asset 50/50, which is problematic when it comes to a major league baseball franchise.
Baseball policy mandates that each organization have only one controlling owner.
Forbes magazine recently valued the Dodgers franchise at $722 million.
Jamie McCourt, the highest-ranking woman in Major League Baseball, became the team’s CEO on March 17. Before that, she had been club president.
The McCourts have been married since 1979. They have four sons: Drew, Travis, Casey, and Gavin.

Kuroda will throw bullpen

Wanted to pass along a note from Doug Padilla:

Injured Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda will throw about 35 pitches in a bullpen session Sunday to get ready for a simulated start Tuesday.

Kuroda, who is out of the first round with a bulging disk in his neck, has shown no ill effects from a 20-pitch bullpen session Friday.
Kuroda admits he still is not at 100 percent, but is moving as quick as he can with his recovery to be ready for the National League Division Series. The simulated game Tuesday will go a long way toward deciding if he is a legitimate candidate for the NLCS roster.

Sutcliffe on Prince: “I applaud him”

Just got home and caught the rebroadcast of the Red Sox – Rays game with Rick Sutcliffe doing the color commentary. In the sixth inning, Sutcliffe told a story of a similar situation he had with the Dodgers back in the day.

“I did that with the Dodgers,” Sutcliffe said. “Pedro Guerrero hit a home run off of me and stood there looking at it. I was going to get him the next time up but he took himself out of the game.”

After that, Sutcliffe said he went over to the Dodgers clubhouse after the game to have a few words with Guerrero. Some of the Dodgers let him in and told him Guerrero was in the training room.

He was about to enter when Manny Mota stepped in front of him and talked him down.

Sutcliffe turned around and went back to the visitors’ locker room.

“I know a lot of people are all over Prince for that, but I applaud him,” Sutcliffe said.

Pete Carroll weighs in

Reaction to Manny Ramirez’ suspension came from far and wide Thursday. Here’s what USC football coach Pete Carroll had to say, via his Twitter feed:

“bummer manny went that way… we love him, but it hurts… now it’s all about opportunity for juan pierre… could he be the new wally pipp?

song of the day! goes out to juan pierre: light my fire by the doors.”

Mientkiewicz reaction

Here’s what veteran utilityman Doug Mietkiewicz had to say about today’s events:

“This is a team. This is not the ‘Los Angeles Mannys,’” said Mientkiewicz, who played with Ramirez in Boston and won a World Series together in 2004.

“You can’t change what’s happened. And it doesn’t change the way I feel about him as a person, as a teammate and as a player. We’re a family in here, and one of our family
members is not with us.

“But we’re a really good team here, and Manny’s a big part of our team. But as far as the team goes, this is a tremendous opportunity for us to prove to people that we’re not just Manny and 24 other guys.”

How Torre heard the news

Joe Torre said that he heard the news a little after midnight on Thursday morning, just hours after the Dodgers had broken the major-league record with their 13th straight home victory to open the season.

Owner Frank McCourt delivered the news.

“It was after midnight last night. I got a call from Frank McCourt that explained what went on, what’s happening and what’s going to happen.”

Asked about his initial reaction, Torre said:

“Disappointment. After the elation of winning another ballgame and then to have somebody punch a hole in the balloon, it’s very disappointing.”

He did not however, say he felt betrayed by Ramirez.

“Betrayed is a strong word to me. To me betrayed is something I don’t think you can ever forgive. As I said, I’m certainly not proud of everything that’s gone on in my life, and if it wasn’t for people who welcomed me back, I’m not sure how you make it back.

“Betrayed is a little strong for me, disappointed and sadness is more of where I go to emotionally.”

Bowa “turned off” by Ramirez

The reactions all around the Dodgers clubhouse have been marked by sadness, disbelief and disappointment. All though, made it clear they felt badly for Manny Ramirez and the pain he’s caused himself and the team.

Dodgers third base coach Larry Bowa, never one to hide his emotions, wasn’t quite as forgiving.

“I’m turned off by players who try to test the system, it just doesn’t make sense,” Bowa said. “I get along with him, and I will get along with him (Ramirez), just like I got along with A-Rod.

“But I’m turned off by players who test the system.”