The Big Chair: The Smooth Hops and Bad Bounces from the Inside World of the Acclaimed Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager

The Big Chair: The Smooth Hops and Bad Bounces from the Inside World of the Acclaimed Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager

by Ned Colletti, Joseph A. Reaves


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“An important contribution to 21st-century baseball literature. . . Mr. Colletti’s book might be even more groundbreaking [than Moneyball] in some ways: It’s a nearly unprecedented opportunity to see what running a baseball franchise looks like through the eyeballs of an actual general manager. . . [Colletti] has a gift for entertaining storytelling. . . These are stories modern general managers rarely tell, except in late-night gatherings at their favorite bars with people they know and trust. So to read them here, told in such colorful detail, makes you feel as if Ned Colletti has just invited you to plop down on the next bar stool.” --Wall Street Journal

“Ned Colletti is a baseball treasure with fascinating stories to tell from inside the game. The Big Chair is your all-access pass. After reading this book, you will not only understand the job of a general manager better but also the game of baseball itself.”—Tom Verducci, author of The Cubs Way and co-author of The Yankee Years

An unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look at the career of famed former Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager (a position also known as “The Big Chair”), whose tenure spanned nine of the most exciting and turbulent years in the franchise’s history.

During his tenure with the Dodgers, Colletti had the highest winning percentage of any general manager in the National League. In The Big Chair, he lets readers in on the real GM experience from his unique vantage point—sharing the inner workings of three of the top franchises in the sport, revealing the out-of-the-headlines machinations behind the trades, the hires and the deals; how the money really works; how the decision-making really works; how much power the players really have and why—the real brass tacks of some of the most pivotal decisions made in baseball history that led to great success along with heartbreak and failure on the field. Baseball fans will come for the grit and insight, stay for the heart, and pass it on for the wisdom.

Ned Colletti began his MLB career with his beloved hometown team, the Chicago Cubs, more than 35 years ago. He worked in Chicago for a dozen years and was in the front office when the Cubs won the National League East in 1984 and 1989, after which he moved on as director of baseball operations for the SF Giants. By 1996, he became the Assistant GM for the Giants, before being hired as the GM in Los Angeles in 2006. There he oversaw the Dodgers through the highly publicized and acrimonious divorce battle between Frank and Jamie McCourt that culminated in the equally highly publicized sale of the team. He was present at the press conference where Don Mattingly, having just watched his team eliminated from the playoffs, used the post-season conference to vehemently discuss his lack of a contract extension. He brought marquee names like Greg Maddux and Clayton Kershaw to LA, as well as marquee drama with the likes of Manny Ramirez and Yasiel Puig; hired future Hall of Famer Joe Torre as manager; and oversaw fourteen Dodgers playoff wins. And these are just a few of the highlights. 

Colletti serves up a huge dish of first-hand experiences with some of the biggest names in baseball history (Barry Bonds, Greg Maddux, Don Mattingly, Don Zimmer, Tommy Lasorda, Scott Boras, Vin Scully, and more). From his humble early years living in a Chicago garage to his path to one of the most prestigious positions in professional sports, his very public and illustrious career has left a permanent handprint in the history of America's sport—and now he's ready to share the insight only those who have sat in The Big Chair have ever seen.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780735215726
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 659,599
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Ned Colletti is the former General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he had a widely successful tenure from 2006-2014. Before the Dodgers, he served as assistant General Manager of the San Francisco Giants, after getting his start with the Chicago Cubs, his beloved home team. He currently appears as a baseball analyst on Spectrum SportsNet LA before and after most Dodgers games.

Table of Contents

Timeline xi

Author's Note xxi

1 The Eight-Oh-Five 1

2 Trade Of A Lifetime 10

3 Answered Prayers And Sad Endings 30

4 The Best 47

5 Maddux-"No One Is Bigger" 58

6 Crying In Baseball 75

7 Getting To The Big Chair 83

8 Building A Team 102

9 McVillain? McBankrupt? McBrilliant 133

10 Time To Move On 145

11 A Weighty Conversation That Ended Well 156

12 Fishing For Whales 164

13 Playing With House Money 180

14 Mannywood 193

15 Are You Okay? 206

16 Navigating The Eye Of The Storm 215

17 A Day In The Life 231

18 Ticket To The Stars 249

19 A New Beginning … Get The Hardware 257

20 Wild Horse 278

21 Presentation 297

22 A Little Luck … A Lot of Dough (And Korean Won) 315

23 Too Good To Be True 328

24 September Of My Years 348

25 You're In Trouble 376

26 Beautiful Endings 386

27 The Dodger Sway

Acknowledgments Ned Colletti 419

Acknowledgments Joseph A. Reaves 425

Index 427

What People are Saying About This

manager, Cleveland Indians and author of Francona: The Red Sox Years - Terry Francona

Ned Colletti's terrific account of the inner workings of a baseball team is engaging, honest, accurate and a great read. Baseball fans hungry to understand what it's really like will devour this.

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