Dodgers hire Andrew Friedman: The view from Tampa Bay.

Andrew Friedman

The Dodgers named Andrew Friedman their President, Baseball Operations on Tuesday. (Associated Press photo)


The Dodgers’ poaching of Andrew Friedman from the Tampa Bay Rays’ front office produced a predictable ripple effect in Florida. Call it somewhere between a minor tsunami and a major tidal wave.

How big is losing Friedman to the Rays? “It’s a huge loss,” said the man who’s replacing Friedman, Matt Silverman. Silverman also called the announcement “difficult and emotional.”

Tampa Tribune columnist Martin Fennelly writes that owner Stuart Sternberg — not Friedman, not manager Joe Maddon — is the linchpin to the Rays’ small-market success. Yet another local scribe called Friedman “the Rays’ MVP.”

Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times compiled a list of Friedman’s best and worst transactions as the Rays’ GM.

Poll: Are the Dodgers a better team today?

Well, you got your wish. Sort of.

In my last poll, I asked which Dodgers coach or executive should be fired. About 94 percent of you thought someone should lose their job and just under half of you thought it should be general manager Ned Colletti. Don Mattingly was a relatively distant second.

Thursday morning, we awoke to find a Dodger team with no general manager, Andrew Friedman as President of Baseball Operations, and Colletti serving Friedman and Stan Kasten in an advisory capacity. (If you slept through Wednesday, here’s the full story.)

The question now: Are the Dodgers a better team today than they were yesterday? Leave a comment below once you’ve voted.

Dodgers hire Andrew Friedman, name Ned Colletti senior advisor.

Ned Colletti

Ned Colletti will remain with the Dodgers as a senior advisor to Stan Kasten. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

The Dodgers hired longtime Tampa Bay Rays general manager Andrew Friedman as their new president of baseball operations Tuesday, while retaining former general manager Ned Colletti as a Senior Advisor to Stan Kasten.

Friedman, 37, is expected to hold a press conference at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday. He had been the Rays’ general manager since 2005 and built four playoff teams since 2008 with a payroll that ranked no higher than 27th in baseball.

“Andrew Friedman is one of the youngest and brightest minds in the game today and we are very fortunate to have him join our organization,” Kasten said in a statement released by the team. “The success he has had over the past nine years in molding the Tampa Bay Rays team has been incredible.”

The front-office shakeup leaves the Dodgers without a general manager for the moment, which is likely to change soon. Kasten’s title could also change. He had been the Dodgers’ President and CEO since joining the front office in 2012.

“Ned Colletti has played a major role in the success of the Los Angeles Dodgers over the last nine years and I’m thrilled that we are able to retain him as a special advisor to me,” Kasten said in a statement. “Ned’s knowledge and experience in the game covering 33 years will be a great asset to the club as we continue to add and build our player development system.”

Here’s more on Friedman from the Rays’ media guide:

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Don Mattingly on Ned Colletti, his coaching staff, Hanley Ramirez, etc.

Don Mattingly

The Dodgers will finalize their 2015 coaching staff in the coming days and weeks. (Getty Images)

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly addressed a number of topics in his season-ending media session Thursday. The big takeaway, as I explained in today’s editions: If the Dodgers didn’t beat themselves, and the manager only would’ve done one thing differently, then whoever assembled the team is primarily accountable for an early playoff exit.

That’s the manager’s opinion, and Don Mattingly doesn’t have the power to fire Ned Colletti.

But he did address Colletti’s status directly, and a few other things I wasn’t able to expand on in that piece:
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Ned Colletti on impending trade deadline: “We may not do anything.”

Ned Colletti

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said there is a “small market” for trades to be made in the coming days. (Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO >> Despite rumors swirling around outfielder Matt Kemp, and the recent struggles of several veteran pitchers, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Saturday that “we may not do anything” between now and the non-waiver trade deadline of 1 p.m. Thursday.

“We have a club that’s solid, still has a lot of upside. Have we won four games in a row yet?”

No, remarkably.

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Daily Distractions: How the Dodgers use analytics today.

Ned Colletti

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti has grown his analytics department from 1 to 4 since taking the job in 2006. (Getty Images)

We don’t know how large the Dodgers’ analytics department was in Paul DePodesta’s final days as general manager. It was almost certainly larger than 1, the number of people exclusively assigned to the task when Ned Colletti took over in 2006. And that one person, Colletti said, left two months into his tenure.

I briefly touched on this subject in today’s story about the Dodgers’ changing philosophy for the amateur draft, and what it might mean for their winter free-agent pursuits. The Dodgers have a four-person analytics team now, headed by Director of Contracts, Baseball Research and Operations Alex Tamin. Doing research for the story, I asked Colletti how the department grew from one to four:

We started an internship program. It just so happened that we brought interns in with a very strong analytical background. We just continued that process. … Analytics became a more valuable resource to your decision making. We had interns that had that type of approach, and we recognized the increased value of a more well-rounded approach to the acquisition process. As the interns graduated from college, we started to hire them as full-time employees.

I seek as much information as I can. If you evaluate only through scouting and what people see, you’re not fully utilizing what’s available to you. If you just use analytics, you’re not using what’s readily available to you. Just using analytics would be the same as hiring an executive with a high salary on (only reading) a resume. You need both at a strong caliber of evaluation to give yourself a better-percentage chance.

I think there’s great value in both. I don’t think you can do the process fairly without using both.

This is a topic I’ve touched on before, but as the amount of baseball data continues to explode, it’s worth revisiting periodically to see how the Dodgers keep up with the data explosion. Colletti said he recently had one scout, and one person from his analytics team, advising him simultaneously while making a decision on a player acquisition. Similar scenes will probably play out in the coming weeks and months.

Some bullet points for a Tajikistan Constitution Day:
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Analysis: After a bad week for clarity, the road map is clear for Don Mattingly and the Dodgers.

Don Mattingly contract

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, foreground, appeared pensive throughout an end-of-season press conference Monday that focused mostly on his contract status. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)

At Dodgers headquarters, this was not a good week for clarity in the information age.

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Dodgers, Don Mattingly have a contract for 2014, but questions remain.

What could have been a routine press conference to recap the end of the Dodgers’ season got interesting in a hurry Monday.

After sharing their thoughts about the 2013 campaign, which ended with a six-game National League Championship Series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, manager Don Mattingly and general manager Ned Colletti were asked about Mattingly’s status for 2014.

“My option vested once we beat Atlanta,” Mattingly said. “That doesn’t mean I’ll be back.”

With that, the floodgates opened.
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Daily Distractions: Back injury puts Jerry Hairston Jr.’s playoff availability in jeopardy.

Jerry Hairston Jr.

Dodgers veteran Jerry Hairston Jr. is batting .211 this season in a reserve role. (Associated Press photo)

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti told the “Petros and Money Show” on 570-AM (KCAL) yesterday that Jerry Hairston Jr. is fighting a back issue that might keep him off the Dodgers’ playoff roster.

“It’s something we’re debating,” Colletti said.

Hairston, one of seven Dodgers with World Series experience, is batting just .143 in the second half of the season in a reserve role.

Colletti responded to a question specifically about whether he would choose the experienced Hairston over younger shortstop Dee Gordon.

“We’re also debating Dee,” Colletti continued. “He brings speed to the game. If you watched our games against Cincinnati a couple weeks ago, you saw the effect of a Billy Hamilton. If you paid attention when we weren’t playing him you saw the game-changing aspect of it. He’s somebody we’re thinking about.”

Colletti added that he’s hopeful that Andre Ethier will be healthy enough that “we’ll be able to use him to some extent starting Thursday.” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Ethier is likely to be used in a pinch-hitting role at the outset.

Some bullet points for a World Vegetarian Day:
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