After stormy days, skies are blue again for Dodgers and Ned Colletti

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Ned Colletti

Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti has seen his fair share of nightmares and fairy tales during his eight-year tenure with the team. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / April 20, 2011)

Scully, ever introspective, says he is lucky and grateful for health and all these years.

"I'm full of thanks," he says. "I'm a walking Thanksgiving dinner."

Brian Wilson also has a news conference. The once-hated Giants reliever, with the weird beard that gives him an edge as an Amish preacher in his post-baseball job hunt, says, "I play for the Dodgers, I work for the Dodgers and I'm gonna win for the Dodgers."

In San Francisco, they are jumping off bridges.

Coincidentally, the first-place Red Sox are in town, for the first time since 2002.

Manager Don Mattingly calls it a matchup of "two heavyweight champions."

The empty seats that became an epidemic during the McCourt years are all but gone. The announced crowd is 50,240, a few thousand shy of a sellout.

Hanley Ramirez hits a two-run homer, the Dodgers lead going into the top of the ninth, 2-0, and Kenley Jansen trots in from the bullpen to close for Ricky Nolasco, who had given up only two hits. Jansen gets the Eric Gagne reception from the crowd and does the Gagne job. (OK, we didn't know about the juice back then).

Score along with us. Against Jansen, Red Sox hitters go K, K, popup-6. Game over. A lightning-fast 2 hours 7 minutes. Dodgers lead the division by 10 1/2.

Tommy Lasorda calls this Dodger Blue Heaven. Suddenly, it really is again.

In the booth with no number, the lights stay out. Colletti's smile is illumination enough.

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