Ng leaving Dodgers to join Torre with MLB
Assistant GM takes VP position in baseball operations department
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Kim Ng hasn't abandoned hopes of becoming the first female general manager in baseball. She's just taking an unexpected path to get there.
Ng, vice president and assistant general manager of the Dodgers, has rejoined former Dodgers manager Joe Torre and accepted the job of senior VP for baseball operations at MLB. She will report to Torre, the newly named executive vice president for baseball operations.
She said details of her responsibilities have not been fully formulated, but "there will be a lot of focus on the international operation and the Dominican Republic," where MLB has embarked on an educational and enforcement campaign to clean up a number of issues, from forged birth certificates to performance-enhancing drugs.
But Ng said her career goal remains being a GM and noted that new Mets GM Sandy Alderson is the latest of several executives who went from the Commissioner's Office to a GM position. Alderson launched MLB's initiative in the Dominican Republic before moving to New York.
"Obviously I have a job to do and I'm fully committed to that," she said. "This is a chance for me to contribute in a very meaningful way to the game. As far as long-term aspirations, they're still there. If anything, this makes me a more fully qualified candidate."
Ng, 42, was entering her 10th season with the Dodgers and was the first woman to interview for a GM's job in 2005, when Ned Colletti got the position. In 2008, she was interviewed to be the Seattle Mariners' GM and a year later to be GM of the San Diego Padres.
Among her many duties for the Dodgers was handling contract negotiations in general and arbitration-eligible players in particular. She also oversaw day-to-day baseball operations, including player transactions, research, video, clubhouse and team travel.
Because all of the Dodgers are signed to contracts for 2011, Colletti said there is no urgency to replace Ng and was uncertain whether he would hire from outside the organization, promote from within or divide her duties among multiple people.
He praised Ng's work for him, said she was ideally suited for her new role and added that straightening out issues such as the birth-certificate problem in places like the Dominican Republic would be "critical" if a talked-about worldwide draft comes to pass.
Ng dismissed suggestions that she's leaving because of the Dodgers' uncertain ownership situation.
"No, this is about the opportunity in front of me," she said. "It's about a chance to help Joe, to help the Commissioner, to change policy and impact the game in a meaningful way. Frank [McCourt, Dodgers owner] has been very good to me. Ned has been very good to me.
"This was an extremely difficult decision. I've been with the organization almost one-half of my career. This is a big factor. I just walked in the door with Sandy Koufax. Those are some of the things I will miss."
McCourt, in a statement, said: "I'm excited for Kim because this is a huge step in her career but I'm disappointed that we are losing such a tremendous talent. She has been a dedicated member of our organization for the last decade and has set herself apart with her integrity, her work ethic and her dedication to winning and always doing what is best for the Dodgers. I wish her all the best in her new role and I will always consider her part of the Dodger family."
Before joining the Dodgers, Ng was VP and assistant GM of the Yankees, with whom she worked with Torre.
"We're going to miss her, obviously," said manager Don Mattingly, who also worked with Ng in New York and Los Angeles. "But it will be better for her and you always want to see people reach better situations." Twenty-nine when hired by the Yankees, she was the youngest assistant GM in baseball. She began her career as a special projects analyst with the White Sox, then assistant director of baseball operations. She spent one year with the American League as director of waivers and records.
Although Torre will operate out of Los Angeles, Ng will relocate to New York. She said she would remain with the Dodgers through Opening Day and start her new job a week later.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.