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It’s closed-door meeting time for the Dodgers

Aug 31, 2012, 1:30 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

You know who doesn’t have closed-door meetings? Teams on the right track:

Immediately after the game, Mattingly held a closed-door clubhouse meeting that lasted several minutes so that the players, he said, could discuss “where we’re at and where do we want to go?”

“We’ve got to do better,” Mattingly said. “I continue to believe in these guys,” he said, but Thursday’s game was “a loss that we really can’t afford, and that’s it.”

Attrition is a bitch. Matt Kemp is hurt. Kenley Jansen has heart trouble. Chad Billingsley is gone. The new additions have been welcome, but it hasn’t translated to wins. L.A. is 16-17 since acquiring Hanley Ramirez. They’re 2-4 since getting Beckett, Gonzalez, Punto and the promise of future Carl Crawford.

The saving grace: they have a lot of games left against San Francisco and only a small wild card deficit. But really, you can’t go and get swept by division rivals like the Dbacks when you’re short several hands on deck.

  1. natslady - Aug 31, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Maybe it’ll work for the Dodgers. Every game after the Nats had a “closed-door” meeting they’ve scored 8 runs…

  2. redguy12588 - Aug 31, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Closed door meetings are the dumbest thing ever, they never work.

    -Pirates fan

    • natslady - Aug 31, 2012 at 1:50 PM

      That’s why Davey only held one so that “the media would think I’m doing my job” and “I saw a lot of people making speeches at the RNC, so thought I oughtta give one…” Apparently he just thanked the players for their efforts and said “Go get ’em tonight.”

      • Uncle Charlie - Sep 1, 2012 at 10:02 AM

        Please tell more about the nationals. I really enjoy how you interject them into every thread.

  3. heyblueyoustink - Aug 31, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Closed door. Open door. I never knew common hardware was a key to a baseball team’s success.

  4. blabidibla - Aug 31, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Meetings are not going to give the Dodgers the starting pitching they desperately need.

  5. norcaldeportes - Aug 31, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Donny Baseball seems in over his head. He has to be on the hot seat at some point, right?

    • bigharold - Aug 31, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      Considering how the season started for the Dodgers, McCourt and all his baggage and their sale, .. their lack of direction during the last off season I don’t think much was expected. He’s got them in position to win the division and only a game and a half out of the WC. I don’t see how that puts him in the “hot seat”.

      Sure, the new owners might go their own way after the season but Mattingly has done a good job with the resources at his disposal.

      • thomas2727 - Aug 31, 2012 at 4:07 PM

        I disagree. The Dodgers had a 7.5 game lead on May 27th. The West is far from the best division in baseball.

        I don’t think he is on the hot seat know. But if he does not win in 2012 he better in 2013.

  6. nogoodtomedead - Aug 31, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    At first I was scared of the money being thrown around- and without a doubt they’re a new team, and they don’t have to win this season- but I’m also glad its looking like the makings of dysfunction @redsoxwest

  7. starvingardens - Aug 31, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    It just goes to show that you cant always buy wins. Hell… I bet even if they tried to claim King Felix off waivers, it still wouldnt work for them. You need that team chemistry.

    • mazblast - Aug 31, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      Any time that someone touts “team chemistry” as the #1 thing necessary to win, I think of two teams–the 1972-73-74 A’s, who mostly hated each others’ guts, and the 1977-78 “Bronx Zoo” Yankees, ditto. Those teams literally fought each other in the clubhouse, and fought for each other on the field.

      At the time of The Trade, I said that the Dodgers’ real gamble is about next season. If they make the playoffs this year, fine, but it’s 2013, when Crawford is back, that will tell the tale of this deal.

      • nogoodtomedead - Aug 31, 2012 at 3:57 PM

        So in over a hundred years of professional baseball you can pull out two championship teams that didn’t have chemistry. Strong case.

      • DJ MC - Aug 31, 2012 at 4:38 PM

        First of all, nogoodtomedead, that’s five championship teams. Seven World Series appearances.

        Second, as an Orioles fan there have been many times over the past fifteen seasons–particularly during the Kevin Millar years–where the stories coming out of Spring Training were all about how much the team loved playing together and how great the chemistry was. Then they started losing, and by the end of the season the stories were all “25 players 25 cabs” and the like.

        I assume you’ve heard the phrase “correlation does not equal causation”, no? Winning teams might have good chemistry and losing teams bad, sure. But why is the first leap to “teams won and lost through chemistry”, when just life experience should tell anyone that humans like to win and don’t like to lose? Thus when those are the two primary objectives of your occupation, teams that win are more likely to be happy and like each other while teams that lose are more likely to be the opposite.

        teams don’t win because they have good chemistry, Teams have good chemistry because they win. I haven’t seen a single example otherwise in my lifetime.

      • sometimesimisscandlestick - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:27 AM

        Not that I’m implying anything here, but wasn’t Reggie on all five of those teams?

      • pftcensorssuck - Sep 1, 2012 at 9:27 AM

        Two teams in the last forty years. Yeah, that’s a great barometer against “chemistry”.

      • starvingardens - Sep 6, 2012 at 5:20 PM

        I have to agree with you about next year. 2013 will be big for them. Its funny though that you had to dig really deep into the memory banks with the A’s and Yankees. Other than those teams, You can say that most of the teams had chemistry when they won the WS right?

        As a Giants fan, I do worry about next uear with the Dodgers. Im just wondering if they are able to keep everyone on the roster, let alone get anyone new.

  8. bigleagues - Aug 31, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Didn’t Bobby say the same thing earlier this season?

  9. andrewproughcfe - Aug 31, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Dear Donny Baseball,

    We don’t like being yelled at in closed-door meetings. Seems like you are too much of a disciplinarian – asking us to play hard and stuff. We’ll be talking to Magic and the other owners soon about our ideas for your replacement – we are thinking Tito would do a great job out here in LA.

    Also – can you do something to get us some better beer and wings down here in the clubhouse? We’re getting tired of Budweiser – maybe some Corona, so we can imagine we’re on a tropical beach instead of stuck in this god-forsaken city? And can you get one of those building maintenance guys to come down – the XBox isn’t working, and we’re getting bored down here in the clubhouse waiting for you guys to lose again so we can go hit the town and chase your ugly LA-women.

    Bosox West

  10. beaverdam21 - Aug 31, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Different sport but as I recall Dick Vermeil had the Eagles practicing all day every day and in bed by 9 every night before the Super Bowl but still got blown out by the Raiders, who went out drinking and fighting, mainly each other all week.

  11. pftcensorssuck - Sep 1, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    That $275 million investment is really paying dividends, isn’t it?

    Gonzalex is hitting what, .400? Beckett is suddenly a Cy Young candidate? Nick Punto has single-handedly won what, a dozen games?

    Red Sox fans thank the Dodgers for being the dumbest ballclub in baseball history for taking these guys, and unloading their fat contracts.

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