Assistant GM Ng says 'no'

An action that will have long-lasting benefits to the Los Anglees Dodgers, assistant general manager Kim Ng has informed New York general manager Jim Duquette that she was withdrawing from consideration for the same position with the Mets, Dodgers spokesman John Olguin said.

The 35-year-old grew up in New Jersey, has family there and spent four years as the New York Yankees' assistant general manager. Still she turned down a chance to move closer to home to continue to work for the Dodgers and Frank and Jamie McCourt.

Her action reversed the flow of talent bleeding from the front office.

Since buying the club from NewsCorp last month, the McCourts have accepted the resignations of four high-ranking executives, some of whom cited "philosophical differences" with the new owners as her reason for leaving. The result is the McCourts have been brutalized by press, radio and television media.

Ng has been an important part of the Dodger front office for the past two years and is one of only three female executives to have held such a high position in a major-league front office.

A Los Angeles Dodgers vice president and assistant general manager, she often is mentioned as a candidate to become the first female general manager in Major League Baseball history.

"I think someday a woman's got a shot at being a general manager, sure. Absolutely. But I wouldn't say I was confident it will happen soon," she said.

Ng (pronounced ANG) is noncommittal about whether she'd like to be the woman who gets that shot.

"I think about it sometimes," she said, "but right now I'm focused on becoming a really good assistant general manager."

New Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta asked Ng if she'd remain on board. Former GM, Dan Evans, believed he had already filled his staff until learning Ng was available.

"I'm very impressed with her and always have been," DePodesta said. "Aside from the overall intelligence that's obviously there, she handles herself extremely well. She's very perceptive and a very good listener." Ng, 35, grew up as such an avid New York Yankees fan that she still remembers hearing about Thurman Munson's death over the radio.

Some 20 years later, Ng would help the Yankees win three straight World Series titles as their assistant general manager.

After spending the early part of the 1990s working in the Chicago White Sox front office, Ng took a job as the American League's director of waivers and player records in 1997. Realizing she missed being part of a team, Ng accepted the New York Yankees' assistant general manager position the following year.

Ng was 29 years old when she was hired by the Yankees, making her the youngest assistant general manager in the majors at the time. The Yankees won the World Series her first three years with the team and were two outs away from winning a fourth straight title in 2001.

After the 2001 season, however, the long days began to wear on Ng. She resigned and considered leaving the game behind altogether. Ng had worked alongside Evans with the White Sox. When the Dodgers selected Evans as their general manager, he hired Ng as an assistant. Her responsibilities included trades, arbitration, roster maintenance and contract negotiations.

Ng played an important role in the free-agent signings of pitchers Kazuhisa Ishii and Hideo Nomo. She provided the strategy that resulted in the Dodgers' arbitration victory over Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne last month, saving the Dodgers $3 million.

Now she's also serving as the organization's interim farm director while the Dodgers seek a permanent replacement for Bill Bavasi, now the Seattle Mariners' general manager.

Ng already has earned the respect of DePodesta, who sees no reason why she couldn't be an effective general manager.

"I think she'd be a great candidate and would end up doing a great job," DePodesta said. "She has all the qualities that are necessary to make successful general managers, from what I've seen.

"It's about being able to manage people, being perceptive and understanding relationships. Those are as important as being able to juggle rosters and understand finances and budgets, which she obviously already handles with ease."