By Jon Weisman
Ned Colletti and Stan Kasten met with reporters at Dodger Stadium today to talk about Colletti’s transition from general manager to special assistant to Kasten. Ken Gurnick is covering it all for MLB.com, but there was a story that Colletti told near the end of the session that I wanted to share.
Colletti remembered his good friend, Tom Sherak, the former entertainment executive and president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, who passed away in January after a long battle with prostate cancer.
“When he left the Academy, he wanted to work for the Dodgers,” Colletti said. “Grew up in Brooklyn. So I hired him for a dollar a year, special assistant to the GM. He used to always tell me, no matter how bad his day was going — and this man was in a lot of pain for a lot of years — that everything was going to be OK. And he’s said, ‘I’ve had this marvelous life, coming out of Brooklyn. coming out of not much, worked for Paramount for years, Fox for years, the Academy. I’ve got this protective bubble around me, so you can call me “The Bubble Man.”‘
“He’d call me, we’d be in a five-game losing streak, and he’s say, ‘Don’t worry. The Bubble Man is coming tonight, and everything will be OK. Then we’d give up five runs in the first inning, and I’d call him up and I’d say, ‘What, did you leave the Bubble Man in the car?'”
Sometime in 2014, in what could be described as a spontaneous development, the Dodgers began to celebrate home runs by turning on a bubble machine in the Dodgers dugout.
“I had nothing to do with the bubble machine,” Colletti said. “One day I look out, and I see the bubbles come out of the dugout. And I thought, ‘Some things are just very interesting.'”