The first call Colletti made was to his veteran scout, Al LaMacchia, who had encouraged the trade for Ethier at the time of the meetings.
"Ned told me that Beane wanted us to toss in another player in the deal and I told him to do it," LaMacchia recalled Monday. "The player Beane was asking about was a utility-type guy and I told Ned we could fill that spot.
"I told Ned that Ethier could be special and he had the chance to hit 30-plus home runs and drive in 100 runs. Furthermore, I had seen him play in Double-A ball in Midland, Texas, and his work ethic and makeup were off the charts. He had a stroke that reminded me of Shawn Green, who was a heck of a player."
LaMacchia is 88 years old and has been scouting for more than 50 years. He doesn't hide the fact that he believes the best decisions on players are made by the scouts who sit behind home plate and watch every movement during a game.
"I don't use a computer, but when the discussion of Ethier came up during the Winter Meetings that year, I told Ned to look up my report if he's got it on the computer, because I know the report I sent in -- Ethier can play and be productive.
You can read more about LaMacchia in this article by the L.A. Times a couple of years ago.