Should He Stay Or Should He Go: The Mattingly Job Security Drama
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By Enrique Rivera (MLB Reports LA Dodgers Correspondent) Follow @eriqwiththeq
There is no doubt about it, the Dodgers season has been very disappointing. Marking one of the highest salary caps in baseball, the Blue Crew has started the season 19-27, last place in the NL West and 6.5 games behind first place.
After having a fresh start with former Red Sox players Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto then signing ace Zack Greinke the Dodgers expected a much better record than the one they currently have.
But as everyone knows, things happen during the regular season that make a player and a team perform worse than they’re expected. In this case, Hanley Ramirez, Greinke, Beckett have hit the DL. Matt Kemp is still trying to come back from a season in which he hit the DL for quiete some time.
Hanley Ramirez getting hurt at a game against the San Francisco Giants earlier in the month
While not trying to use injuries as an excuse, something’s gotta give and some folks have begun pointing fingers at Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly.
For the last week or so there has been speculation that Mattingly is in his last few games as the Dodgers manager. The rumors began last week after the Dodgers were swept by the Atlanta Braves in Turner Field.
But then again, who ISN’T losing to the Braves nowadays. The Braves have the 2nd best record in the National League.
After a the Braves series, the Dodgers went Milwaukee for a three-game set against the Brewers in which everyone was speculating that this would be Mattingly’s last series.
But the Dodgers won the first game 3-1 behind homers by Andre Ethier and Kemp. Then lost the next game 5-2 after Ethier’s ejection from the game. After that, Mattingly did what people would consider a bold move by benching Ethier. Mattingly even told reporters,
“It’s not just all, ‘Let’s go put an All-Star team out there and play games and the team with the All-Star team wins.’ It’s trying to find that balance of a team that’s got a little grit and a little fight. They’ll fight you and has enough talent to get there also, with that. All grit and no talent is not going to get you there and all talent and no grit is not going to get you there. There’s got to be a mixture of both.”
Dodgers’ president Stan Kasten in the other has been quoted to say, Mattingly’s job is safe.
Regardless, the Dodgers are in desperate needs for some change if they want to compete in the division for the rest of the season but should the Dodgers should find a new skipper?
Now I don’t have all the answers but I personally don’t feel the need to go with a new skipper during the season. Especially if it’s within the current coaching staff.
For one, none of the current coaches have been anymore successful as managers. Current bench coach Trey Hillman has previously managed the Kansas City Royals from 2008-2010 but has a record of 152-207. Third Base coach Tim Wallach has been a successful manager, but in the minor leagues. He has managed the Albuquerque Isotopes and compiled a 152-135 record.
I can’t really see an available manager that can give that change Dodgertown desperately needs and wants.
Let’s begin with Ozzie. Ozzie has experienced success with the White Sox but after spending one year in a highly talented Miami Marlins ballclub, he managed to do nothing with the club. He ended the season with a 69-93 record. Not to mention he had issues with current Dodger Hanley Ramirez. The idea of Ozzie managing the Dodgers is much worse than anything.
LaRussa in the other hand, is the only exception to my “don’t fire Mattingly during the season statement.” That’s the only reason why they want to go with a new manager. LaRussa is currently retired but if Ned Colleti (Dodgers GM) can talk LaRussa out of retirement and reunite with Mark McGwire to coach a potential power-house lineup then I think all joy will head the Dodgers way.
But as of now, it’s all on the Dodger players to play into their true potential and save the Dodger season and I think Colleti should give Mattingly until at least the end of the season.
***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners***
Today’s feature was prepared by our Dodgers Correspondent Enrique Rivera. Enrique was born in Los Angeles and raised in Compton, CA. He has been a Dodger fan since he was introduced to the greatest sport of all time.
‘Eriq’ also has written a couple of baseball stories for another website here . Eriq has also talked Dodger baseball on a college radio show called LA Sports Weekly.
His second favorite thing in the world is rock and roll – and he owns his own website called xstaticradio.com as well as hosts/produces his own college radio show called X-Static Radio Live. You can also follow Enrique on Twitter Follow @eriqwiththeq
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Posted on May 26, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @eriqwiththeq on twitter, adrian gonzalez, andre ethier, Atlanta Braves, carl crawford, clayton kershaw, don mattingly, enrique rivera, hanley ramirez, Hyun-Jin Ryu, josh beckett, los angeles dodgers, mark mcgwire, matt kemp, nick punto, nl west, ozzie guillen, san francisco giants, stan kasten, Tim Wallach, tony larussa, Trey Hillman, zack greinke. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.