LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Los Angeles Dodgers hired Ned Colletti as their general manager Tuesday to replace the fired Paul DePodesta.

Colletti has been an assistant GM with the rival San Francisco Giants since 1997. He beat out Dodgers assistant general manager Kim Ng, who was trying to become the first woman in major league history to be hired as a GM.

The Dodgers called a news conference for Wednesday to introduce Colletti in his new job.

Ng and Colletti were thought to be the only candidates to interview for the job. Former Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians GM John Hart withdrew Monday as a candidate.

Dodgers spokeswoman Camille Johnston confirmed the hiring of Colletti, who has served under Giants general manager Brian Sabean for the past nine years.

The 50-year-old Colletti is considered a good negotiator and communicator, attributes owner Frank McCourt said he wanted in a GM after firing DePodesta on Oct. 29.

DePodesta was let go after less than two years on the job. He succeeded Dan Evans and signed a five-year contract in February 2004, shortly after McCourt purchased the team from News Corp. The Dodgers are the only team in the majors without a manager. McCourt said at the time of DePodesta’s firing that the search to replace Jim Tracy would be on hold until after a GM was picked.

Tracy and the team parted ways in October, and he was hired to manage the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Dodgers went 71-91 last season, their worst record since 1992 and second-poorest since the franchise moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958. They won the NL West championship in 2004 with a 93-69 record.

Colletti, who began his career in public relations for the Chicago Cubs in 1982, eventually became involved in the baseball operations side of the business. He represented the Cubs in arbitration hearings and negotiated contracts.

Among the deals he put together were contracts for Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson and Greg Maddux.

Working under Sabean with the Giants, Colletti again was heavily involved in player negotiations, including working out a contract for Barry Bonds.

During Colletti’s years in San Francisco, the Giants won division titles in 1997, 2000 and 2003, and were the NL champions in 2002.

Ng and Roy Smith, the Dodgers’ vice president of player development, represented the club at the recent major league general managers’ meetings in Indian Wells, Calif.

Ng, who turns 37 on Thursday, was the New York Yankees’ assistant general manager for four years before taking the Dodgers’ job in December 2001.

She also has worked for the Chicago White Sox and the American League.

AP-ES-11-15-05 2154EST

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