Colletti's Making a List, Checking it Twice

As Major League Baseball descends on Dallas' Wyndham Anatole Hotel Monday for the annual winter meetings, general managers check their shopping lists carefully. New Dodger GM Ned Colletti's might read, "A loaf of bread, a dozen eggs, corner infielders with some power, a starting pitcher or two, and bring back a center fielder if you can find a good one. And make a decision on a manager, will you?"

With the hustle and rush Colletti has been involved in -- It's Monday, it must be Dallas -- he might be forgiven for mixing up Mrs. Colletti's list with his own.

But excluding the bread and eggs, the Dodgers are looking for bargains to fill their 2006 roster, although they seem to still be in the hunt for shortstop Rafael Furcal, who is also sorting out offers from the Cubs and Braves at the same time.

One must wonder, however, how tough it is to get a high-rolling free agent to sign on the dotted line if you can't tell him who is manager will be?

While it may be tough for the average fan to identify managerial candidates, there are some Captain Bligh's hanging around the lobby, looking for another ship to terrorize, although Colletti, a veteran of the baseball seas, certainly can identify them by sight.

So before any free agent will accept an offer from the Dodgers, an announcement about the manager might be in order.

Approaching the Dallas gathering, clubs have been throwing money around like they believed the "Category 7 -- The End of the World" television show was a CNN report.

The Dodgers, for example, seemingly unlocked the vault to offer Furcal a three year contract at something like $12 million a year. If that number is correct, the media will have to revise the $70 million payroll limit they have predicted for the 2006 club.

Colletti met Friday with Cleveland Indians bench coach Joel Skinner in Ohio to complete a whirlwind round of interviews that have including Atlanta special scout Jim Fregosi, former Tampa Bay bench coach John McLaren, Chicago Cubs roving catching instructor Grady Little and New York Mets third-base coach Manny Acta.

Apparently one or two of the group will be invited for a second set of interviews, possibly involving chairman Frank McCourt, and rumors of a hiring could be announced during the meetings..

Dodger Blue Notes-- Adam Riggs, 1995 winner of the Bill Schweppe Award for Player of the Year in the Dodger minor League system, hit .306 in the Japanese Central League and Karim Garcia, 1993 Guy Wellman Award winner as Rookie of the Year, hit .307 and Jolbert Cabrera hit ..297 in the Japanese Pacific Division. Gary Rath was 3-9, 6.33 for the Eagles in the same division. Clint Hosford was 1-3, 4.64 in the Taiwan League.