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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Stan Kasten on Bud Selig’s ability to build consensus.

I’m working on a story about Rob Manfred, the commissioner-elect of Major League Baseball. Team president Stan Kasten, speaking on the topic of Bud Selig’s ability to build consensus, had a fantastic quote that might not make the story but needs to be transcribed: “In the history of this world, maybe ever, there will never be anyone like Bud Selig. He is number one and there is no number two. Let’s put it in that context.”

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Full text of Stan Kasten’s letter to Congressman Brad Sherman.

On July 31, Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten wrote a letter to Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) in support of Sherman’s proposal of binding arbitration between Time Warner Cable and DirecTV over SportsNet LA.

Here is the full text of that letter:

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Daily Distractions: What happened to Stephen Fife?

Stephen Fife

Stephen Fife is 3-6 with a 3.49 earned-run average in 17 major-league games (15 starts), all with the Dodgers. (Getty Images)

Through no fault of his own, Stephen Fife was not the talk of spring training a year ago. People were talking about the Dodgers’ high-priced roster of superstars and how they would jell, the eight starting pitchers with guaranteed major-league contracts when camp broke, and the intrigue surrounding rookies Yasiel Puig and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Fife had no chance of starting the season in the major leagues due to the aforementioned surplus of starters. So he began the season Albuquerque, only to be summoned to Los Angeles three weeks later when injuries struck Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly and Zack Greinke. His return was hastened because Fife had a marvelous camp, his fastball suddenly sitting in the mid-90s after sporadically breaking 90 the year before.

Manager Don Mattingly said at the time that “this guy has come so far last spring to this spring — huge strides.”

On Tuesday, Fife’s name was among the first group of players optioned to the Dodgers’ minor-league camp. So what happened?

Fife said Tuesday that he was taking a different, less intense approach to spring training this year. The approach was born from wisdom, but also might have led to his premature demotion.

“I have no idea what (my) velocity is so far,” he said. “I’m throwing at a ‘competitive level’ but not a midseason level. Watching (Josh) Beckett, (Clayton) Kershaw, (Zack) Greinke, those guys — some days they take it easy.”

After struggling with bursitis in his right shoulder for much of 2013, Fife began his off-season spending four days a week with Dodgers physical therapist Steve Smith trying to correct the mechanical issues that led to his bursitis in the first place. He said the scapula bone in his right shoulder had actually migrated up his back.

It wasn’t until the second week of January that Fife said he was throwing pain-free.

“I didn’t have much of an off-season,” he said.

Maybe Fife could have touched 95 on the radar gun in camp. After a short off-season, he seemed content to save his best stuff for April and beyond.

There were other factors working against Fife. The Dodgers wanted to see more from Zach Lee, Seth Rosin and Jarret Martin, three younger pitchers getting their first look in the Dodgers’ major-league camp. Each is still an unproven talent against major-league hitters. Lee and Martin might be deserving of a call-up later this season (Rosin is a Rule 5 pick who must make the Opening Day roster or else go on waivers), but they also need more time against major-league hitters in camp to earn that opportunity.

Fife is a known quantity. He went 4-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 12 games (10 starts) last season. The 27-year-old has one option year left on his contract. Fife could always pull a Justin Sellers and sneak back onto the roster before the end of camp, or pull a Stephen Fife and find his way back by the end of April.

That would require a spate of injuries to the team’s top starters, but we’ve seen that before. Keep an eye on Fife; he might be back.

Some bullet points for a Multiple Personality Day:
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New Dodger Stadium parking policy will encourage fans to buy passes in advance.

Dodger Stadium parking

Parking at Dodger Stadium will increase to $15 in 2014, but only if you purchase your parking pass at the stadium gate. (Associated Press photo)

A series of changes are in store for Dodger Stadium, each designed to improve traffic flow into the park on game days.

The most significant change will see a return to $15 fees for parking passes purchased at the stadium entrance. To pay $10, fans will need to buy their parking pass in advance and present their receipt — either printed or on a smartphone — when they approach the gate.

“There’s not much we can do about the traffic on the 110. There’s not much we can do about the traffic on Sunset (Blvd.), and those are our two main access roads,” team president Stan Kasten said. “The main bottleneck we have is transaction time at the gate.”

Lon Rosen, the Dodgers’ chief marketing officer, said that fans who pay at the gate typically spend 45 seconds or more completing the transaction. By presenting and scanning a prepaid parking pass, the transaction time is greatly reduced. Kasten and Rosen hope this will diminish the traffic backup that infuriates fans trying to enter the stadium in the hours leading up to the game.
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