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Don Mattingly: “If we lose, we’re failures”

Dec 12, 2012, 9:26 AM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

Yahoo!’s Tim Brown has an in-depth story on Don Mattingly and how he finds himself, suddenly, at the helm of the team with the highest payroll and the highest expectations in all of baseball.  It’s a good story, with some great anecdotes about how Mattingly used to get inside the heads of dudes back in his playing days.

But this quote is likely to last longer in everyone’s memory. Especially if the Dodgers find themselves struggling at any point next season:

“The expectation is you have to win. That’s just the way it is. You could fight it. You could try to defuse it. But I don’t think there’s any defusing this bomb, no matter what we do. We just might as well look at that and take it head on right away. We’re supposed to win. There it is. If we lose, we’re failures.”

I think T.J. Simers was already going to stroll into the Dodgers’ clubhouse at some point after a three-game losing streak next year and jerkily demand that everyone there admit that they’re failures, but now at least he has a justification for it.

  1. Jack Marshall - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Yes, having Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Adrian “It’s God’s will if we lose” Gonzalez for two seasons certainly made the Red Sox a juggernaut. Mattingly should be the odds-on favorite as manager most likely to be fired, as he has been saddled with an over-rated, over-priced, likely dysfunctional squad.

    • escapingexile - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:44 AM

      Who would’ve ever thought hiring the steady hand of Bobby V. could potentially spell disaster?

    • dickclydesdale - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      Dodgers have a bunch of hackers that cant draw a walk, that spells huge trouble as they proved last season not being able to score any runs. They are in deep shit.

  2. escapingexile - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    I think you are giving T.J. Simers a little too much credit here. If I was a gambling man, I’d be willing to bet on the first instance of T.J. being T.J. coming in spring training if Greinke happens to get roughed up.

  3. MyTeamsAllStink - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    The obvious solution is fire Mattingly 5 games into the season,tease that you’re hiring Tony LaRussa and then at the last moment hire Jim Tracy.

  4. fanofevilempire - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Donnie baseball is just letting his players know that their are expectations, nothing wrong with that.

    I wish him the best, he is one cool cat.

  5. tfbuckfutter - Dec 12, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    “If we lose, we’re failures.”

    Department of redundancy department, how may I direct your call?

    • historiophiliac - Dec 12, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      Do you think he stole that from Berra?

  6. hushbrother - Dec 12, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Bla bla bla high expectations are nothing new to Mattingly bla bla bla this attitude comes from his years in pinstripes bla bla bla Steinbrenner bla bla bla the Boss never stood for failure bla bla bla …

  7. manchestermiracle - Dec 12, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    I’m likely in the minority here, but I find Simers refreshing and funny. With all the pissing and moaning, here and elsewhere, about “over-paid egotistical jocks” I would think there’d be more fans of a columnist who always finds hilarious ways to tweak those who need a reality check. And that includes everyday folks who take sports WAY too seriously. Simers has written pieces about athletes who do good deeds, as well as some great stuff about Vin Scully and Chick Hearn, but nobody ever mentions those.

    The thing about Simers is that he plays no favorites. If someone in any sport, especially in management, needs to be called out then T.J. is your man. That means that sooner or later he’s going to bag on YOUR favorite player and piss you off. It keeps the players on their toes and you can always tell who is thin-skinned and easily outraged. But I can’t be the only one who likes reading his pot-stirring commentary, since he’s been with the L.A. Times for quite awhile now.

    • paperlions - Dec 12, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      Being an obnoxious dick is funny? He’s not even clever, he just acts like an asshole and then acts confused as to why people think he acted like an asshole.

    • albertmn - Dec 12, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      Just because someone keeps their job doesn’t mean they are good at it, or that people enjoy them. Most people I know cringe to hear Tim McCarver on a broadcast, but he keeps his job. So, TJ being at the LA Times for a long time doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of people enjoy him.

      Your comment that sooner or later he’s going to bag on YOUR favorite player actually supports the idea that he is a jerk. Contrary to what some believe, not every player is a bad person. But, if Simers will bag on every player, then he is doing it without provocation in some cases, and just trying to get a reaction. That is trying to create news, rather than reporting or commenting on the news. There is enough negativity in this world without people out there trying to create more.

  8. beelza - Dec 12, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    “Wherever we go, there we are.” and “If we lose, we’re failures.” – Don Mattingly Coming from a man managing a 230MM USD payroll per year. Magic hopes Donny was trying to be a smart ass. That payroll, those egos, massive pressure, expectations, even Atlas feels for Donny. Even more hilarious is the LAD are behind a team that won the WS with a pitcher whose 86mph heater embarrassed the alleged triple crown winner, home run derby champ, and removed the batteries from the cyborg verlander. A 230MM wild card team.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Dec 12, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      This is Mattingly’s first year managing at $230 million payroll. Last year, he managed a $93 million payroll. So last year had less than half the expectations of this year. Going by your logic, of course.

  9. muskyhunter2542 - Dec 12, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Remember what happend to the Philly “Dream Team”. ? I see the same thing happening in LA

    • 1historian - Dec 12, 2012 at 11:40 PM

      a lot like that bosox juggernaut in 2010

  10. jaydoubleyou22 - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    I officially agree with CC for the first time… ever. TJ Simers is a jerk.

  11. jaydoubleyou22 - Dec 12, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    But I read Simers’ articles and they are usually pretty entertaining. I guess that makes me a jerk for supporting one.

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