If There’s One Good Reason to Fire Don Mattingly…

don_mattingly_umpire_april7-2013…it’s because I’m absolutely sick & tired of talking about whether the team is/should/will/are going to fire Don Mattingly.

I feel like I’ve been over this a million times, but just so there’s no mistake about my position, let me offer it in crystal clear terms: though I like Mattingly more than most, I can’t argue that he’s done some sort of phenomenal job, and so if he gets fired, that’s totally fine — just don’t pretend like it’s the magic bullet that will save the season. It won’t. Managers just aren’t that important. Or as I said when we went through this last week

If that happens and Mattingly goes, I won’t have any cause to argue with the move, though I’ll stand by my opinion that it alone is not going to make much of a difference. (Actually, with Greinke just about ready to return, that will then set us up for months of arguing of whether the team’s likely-improved performance is due to a managerial change or simply better available talent, a fate I’m eager to avoid.)

Can’t wait for that, you guys. It’s going to be fun.

Anyway, this is coming to a head once again not just because of how lousy the team looked in getting swept in Atlanta this weekend, but because Ken Rosenthal is reporting that he is “convinced Mattingly is going to get fired”. This appears to be more Rosenthal’s speculation than any actual reporting, so I hesitate to put too much stock into it, but I do agree that Mattingly’s time is growing short — and I absolutely agree with Rosenthal’s assertion that an off-day before a homestand is the ideal time to make such a move. (Bill Shaikin reports that he has been told there are “no plans” to fire Mattingly, though as much as I respect Shaikin’s work, statements like that from an unnamed official rarely end up being concrete.)

So is tonight the beginning of Mattingly’s final series as manager? I can’t say I know, though I will say that I feel a lot better about a series that will feature Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, & Hyun-jin Ryu than one that had Chris Capuano, Matt Magill, & Ryu (though both of the first two actually performed pretty well). I do know this, though — if the plan is to fire him this week, then that decision better have already been made, because if you’re really making such choices based on one three-game series against a non-divisional opponent, that speaks to a larger problem.

But for all the reasons why it’s not fair to hang this on Mattingly — injuries to the rotation, poor roster construction, injuries, under-performing players, injuries, etc — the fact that we seem to come back to this every few days is not a situation that can continue. I said that a few days ago too, because if he is a dead man walking, then the organization is not putting the team in the best position to win.

So whether or not I think Mattingly should get fired, I have swung to the side that thinks he will, and all that’s left now is when and who steps in. Maybe it’ll be Tim Wallach, or Trey Hillman, or someone from outside the organization (but please lord, not Tony LaRussa); I suppose I’d lean Wallach, though I doubt it really matters all that much. Then we can all spend the rest of the year fighting each other when a roster that has Greinke & Hanley Ramirez performs better than one that didn’t.

The sad part is, we all know who deserves to be the man shouldering the blame, if there is one, and that’s the same man I’ve been wanting to see exiled since at least 2007. But Ned Colletti has a newly-minted long-term extension tucked into his cowboy boots, and a change in the front office seems very far from imminent.

959 comments
GrasshopperLi
GrasshopperLi

I agree that a manager is not that important. In fact, I would assume that a player ran team, ego's aside, could be ran better than a manager ran team. However, ego's cannot be put aside, and so it is the manager's place to control that, to set the lineup, to bench people when its warranted, etc. Mattingly does none of this well. His lineups make no sense. He is afraid of his players. He never addresses the actual problem areas, just skirts around them. But hey, he is a "player's coach". Well maybe the dodgers dont need a player's coach, maybe we need a man and not a coward. And batting order matters, despite what Mattingly thinks. Thus we can produce hits, but never runs. How many innings has kemp ended with runners on? But is Mattingly going to move kemp back? No. Cuase he is afraid of him. He is a poor coach. 

Duh Blue Crue
Duh Blue Crue

So where does big mack come into play with this offense as a hitting coach? Also, what about honeycutt and this pitching? I think big mack isn't a good fit for this team and honeycutt has gotten too comfy! I say we axe both plus donnie! Donnie b-ball has no place in the nl!

deBlueProgeny
deBlueProgeny

I think we should replace Mattingly with a computer management algorithm.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

In a show of solidarity for this team Team Stop Bunting will now DFA Kershaw and start Lilly

efb
efb

So does the Dodgers 2013 season remind anyone else of The Producers? 

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

Lulz. Lilly is going back in the rotation.

Lobo
Lobo

Goat, I disagree strongly about the quality of the live version.  Is good, yes, but it's essentially missing the keyboard which is my favorite part of the song.

moneynow27
moneynow27

Baseball trivia fun before game time.  The first guy to post the correct answer is the winner.   What former player (s) died in an unfortunate accident during Spring training?  Was it.......Jose Cruz, Luis Cruz, Tom Cruise, Pablo Cruise, Tim Crews, Carnival Cruise, or Steve Olin?   

Paulstralia
Paulstralia

@EephusBlue I wonder if other teams have like... computer programs written so they can be the first to claim Kershaw in the event that he's accidentally DFA'd. 

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

@Lobo fair enough. i prefer the arrangement  instrumentation, and backup vocals on the live version. not to mention byrne's intensity. 

moneynow27
moneynow27

C'mon, no one old enough here to remember this?

Paulstralia
Paulstralia

@Dodgers' 7th Ring Green Day gets a lot out of a little. They're not that talented and not really great musicians, but they manage to write catchy music that resonates with people. Also, I think Billie Joe is an above average lyricist. If you want awesome, intricate instrumentals, go elsewhere. If you wanna be entertained, Green Day is a great band. 

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

@Capnsparrow @EephusBlue At this point this pathetic team is comical. They are doing everything exactly wrong. It is now a joke of a franchise.

moneynow27
moneynow27

Does everyone give up, or just wish it was Luis Cruz?

TaintsnifferMcGillicutty
TaintsnifferMcGillicutty

@EephusBlue @Capnsparrow Now that's more like it! Baseball is supposed to be fun! Even if it goes badly. Getting angry about is the wrong way to go about it esp. since it's out of your control. At least be funny people ala SOSG

Lobo
Lobo

@JohnM (MSTI Elitist/Hipster) @Lobo @Disgruntled Goat I owe my knowledge of them entirely to my elementary school music teacher.  Every year of elementary school, he taught us about a different genre or time period of music and when I was in 1st or 2nd grade he taught us about folk music.  This was when I first exposed to Bob Dylan as well.  I owe so much of my musical taste to that guy.

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

NOW GO FORTH AND CONQUER YOUR FEARS

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

I SAID COOLER WITH INDIE GIRLS(of Jakes actual generation)