Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Rays lose Hunsicker to Dodgers
ST. PETERSBURG - Gerry Hunsicker, the Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president of baseball operations, is leaving the organization to join the Los Angeles Dodgers as senior advisor of baseball operations. "I think these are exciting times ahead for that franchise, and I thought it was time to help another organization move in the right direction," Hunsicker said. Hunsicker will assist Dodgers president Stan Kasten and general manager Ned Colletti. "Gerry brings a wealth of senior-level experience and knowledge that will assist baseball operations at all levels," Colletti said in a statement.Hunsicker, who spent nine years as the general manager of the Houston Astros before joining the Rays after the 2005 season, provided an experienced voice for executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, who was beginning his first year as a full-time general manager, and his inexperienced staff. "I wanted to help lay a foundation that could be successful in the future," Hunsicker said. "I think the success was beyond everybody's expectations." In a statement released by the team, Friedman said: "I have worked side by side with Gerry for the past seven years and I am extremely grateful for all he has done for me and the Rays organization. He has been instrumental in the growth and development of our department and I am proud of the successes we have enjoyed together. We will miss his contributions and presence, and we wish him well in his new role in Los Angeles." Hunsicker, who also helped establish the organization's international programs in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Brazil, said he leaves the Rays with mixed emotions. "This has been a special seven years, really a magical period in my career," he said. "I enjoyed every minute of it." Hunsicker said he originally thought his stay with the Rays would have been no more than three seasons. But the Rays reached the World Series during that third season, and since he didn't want to be a GM again, he was going to leave only for the right situation. "(The Rays are) firing in all cylinders," he said. "In a way I think my part is finished. I don't think I'm needed as much as I was." Kasten was president of the Braves when the Braves and Astros met in the playoffs three times in five seasons. The Braves won all three meetings. "What's that saying? If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," Hunsicker joked. Kastan spearheaded the move to hire him, Hunsicker said. The Dodgers, once a model major league organization, appear to be headed back to that position under the ownership group that bought the franchise earlier this year. "I was looking for an opportunity to help another organization," Hunsicker said. "I'll help this franchise any way I can."