Day one of the winter meetings hasn't brought much news regarding the Dodgers, other than speculation and rumors, which can be fun. However, the Dodgers did announce today that team president Dennis Mannion will now oversee baseball operations in addition to his current duties running the daily business side of the franchise.
From the Dodgers:
To date, Mannion has had responsibility for business operations, including marketing, sponsorships, finance, ticket sales, human resources, communications and legal affairs. In his new role, Mannion will also oversee General Manager Ned Colletti, who manages the team’s baseball operations.
Mannion is one of the most tenured executives in professional sports. He first joined the Dodgers in 2007 following 27 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and Baltimore Ravens.
"Dennis is a seasoned sports executive who has done a great job since arriving at the Dodgers," said Dodger Owner Frank McCourt. "He has already begun integrating baseball operations with the rest of the organization, and today’s announcement formalizes that transition."
I did have the good fortune to meet Mannion during my tour of Camelback Ranch this spring, and even though it was a passing meeting outside the club's offices, Mannion did go out of his way to elicit the opinion of us Dodger bloggers and seemed genuinely interested in our thoughts. I have no idea how that will affect his ability to run a franchise, but he did seem to have a presence, if that counts for anything.
Colletti praised the move, saying, "I have long believed that both sides of the operation will function better as one - both understanding the challenges each has and working together to celebrate the triumphs as one group. This move acknowledges that and I embrace it wholeheartedly." But then again, what else would Colletti say in a team press release?
Who knows what effect this move will have on the Dodgers? It will probably be minimal on the baseball side, but time will tell.
OK, so there is a little bit of news. The Dodgers announced a few things via Twitter:
- The Dodgers are "not shopping" George Sherrill
- Scott Elbert and Josh Lindblom are being groomed for starting pitching roles, whereas James McDonald is "more flexible."
Brad Ausmus is leaning toward returning for 2010, and Colletti has been in contact with him all winter