Image courtesy of ESPN
Recently the Dodgers organization spoke publicly of the team's poor start. Team president Stan Kastan stated specifically in regards to manager Don Mattingly. Proclaiming his confidence in the skipper's ability to right the ship. Often in professional sports a public vote of confidence by the front office is the proverbial kiss of death.
The Dodgers find themselves in last place in the daunted NL West. Struggling in every aspect of the game. Despite having a NL leading 216 million dollar payroll. A team built to win in October (at least on paper) can't get out of it's own way in May. Although as a club the Dodgers are near the middle of the pack in pitching and hitting.. Unfortunately they are also among the league's worst in infielding and, the stat that matters most, Wins. In fact only the Marlins, Cubs, Twins and Astros have worse records. All of which have payrolls almost perfectly equal to the Dodgers'. That small tidbit alone has caused the "Magic" LA brass to become impatient with the day to day results.
Is Don Mattingly to blame? After all he wasn't the "genius" who added $50+ million of salary last season. He was not the guy who negotiated the deal to not only accept all of Boston's trash, but to pay for it as well. Mattingly did not sign Zack Grienke or Chris Capuano to ridiculous deals. Juan Uribe was not a player he requested wear the Dodger blue. However he is the manager who publicly called out fan favorite Andre Either. He is the guy who has annually struggled down the stretch. He also is the man who has the unenviable task of trying to win back a clubhouse full of notorious primadonnas.
Whether or not you think Don is to blame he will at some point in 2013 be the fall guy. Much like Francona in 2011 in Boston when the team has control at any point the story is over. Lashing out publicly at your players both directly and indirectly usually yields negative results. High-priced, coddled superstars often resent the negative headlines from management. Truth be told the Dodgers have never gotten what they expected out of Mattingly: the heir to the throne upon Joe Torre's retirement. L.A. came to expect the same product and results of his predecessor. Although Mattingly's Dodgers have not been horrid. They have been far from exceptional. Money is the bottom line here. The Dodgers are paying too much for too little return. Mattingly himself is in the last year of his contract. That will make it easy to pull the cord on his time at the helm.
Support WBOB Sports