Colletti takes team to task for slow start
Dodgers GM unhappy with level of play, Kemp in particular
NEW YORK -- Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti unloaded on his last-place club in an interview on KABC Radio on Tuesday morning.
"I talk to Joe [Torre] all the time. He understands my position and my frustration level," said Colletti. "I grabbed a couple of players one-on-one and let them know I'm not satisfied with their approach. It's not an easy game, and when you think you've mastered it and you can take it easy and walk to your position and not hustle, the game catches up to you. And some guys think they're better than they are and they think the opposition will roll over and get beat by them. That just doesn't happen.
"We lost two of three to Cincinnati, we lost two of three to Washington, we lost two of three to Pittsburgh. No offense to those clubs, but we're better than they are. It's frustrating. We can continue to work at it and talk it through, but at the end of the day they've got to execute it."
And that was before the Dodgers were swept in a Tuesday doubleheader by the Mets. The Dodgers have lost all five road series they've played this season, all of them in the Eastern time zone. They are 4-10 on the road, 2-6 against the National League East and 2-4 against the NL Central.
Colletti, however, wasn't finished, and he was especially critical of the play of center fielder Matt Kemp, who signed a two-year, $10.95 million contract coming off a Silver Slugger/Gold Glove season last year. Kemp went 1-for-9 in the doubleheader, his average dipping to .294.
"It's below average. The baserunning is below average, the defense is below average. Why is it? Because he got a new deal? I can't tell you," Colletti said of Kemp. "But it's below average.
"If this was the last day of the season and you were voting for Gold Glove, his name would not be on the ballot. It's a shame to go from where he was, to where he was a year ago, and to revert back to, when the ball goes up in the air, you're not sure where it's going or if it's going to get caught. It's not right."
Colletti said it's too early in the season to look outside the organization for pitching help, and that, with 142 games to play, he's "not jumping to conclusions. But our pitching has got to get better."
He also said if any of his players "don't want to be in L.A., we'll figure that out, too."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.