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If the Dodgers tank Don Mattingly will be the scapegoat

Jan 22, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

Interesting article in the L.A. Times. Don Mattingly has an option year for 2014 and he recently asked the Dodgers to exercise it so that he’s not a lame duck this season. They said nopers:

“It was a 30-second conversation about the option, they said that wasn’t the plan for me or my coaches, it was a moot point, and I’m fine with that,” Mattingly said in a phone interview. “But you would have liked for them to pick up the extensions so the players could be shown confidence. You never want it to be like, after a couple of bad games, people are saying, ‘Oh, are they gonna change managers now?”

This is a $200 million+ team with a new ownership group and a monster TV deal getting inked soon. Everything is trending high expectations. So you have to figure if those expectations aren’t met, it’ll be Mattingly’s head which will roll first. Especially considering GM Ned Colletti had his contract extended.

  1. youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    I think this is more of a “when” rather than an “if” scenario. The odds are greater that the team will underperform than it is that they will perform up to their spending level. Such is typically the case with big-spending teams. See Angels, circa 2012.

    • dcfan4life - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM

      I disagree. The Diamondbacks and Rockies are completely rebuilding, the Padres are a non factor, and the Giants may be World Series champs but have some glaring holes. I think the Dodgers definately could make a run at the division. The ownership isnt saying World Series or bust. If the Dodgers make the playoffs Mattinglys fine. If they miss barely and have injuries, Mattinglys should be fine, he really should only get axed if they miss the playoffs by a decent margin, maybe barely over 500 or worse.

      • youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:41 PM

        Regardless of what you say the “management is saying”, the public expectation for the Dodgers is significantly higher than losing out in the divisional or wild card round. Most of the media giants are touting the Angels and Dodgers (rightly so or not) as WS-calibre teams. Not having your manager’s contract extended puts an even heavier weight on his shoulders.

      • dcfan4life - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        I agree with the public perception. Cant spend $200 million plus and not have that expectation. But to axe a manager the first season with this team as a whole they need to miss the playoffs entirely. I feel the Dodgers know that. And i dont think they will risk blowing something thats working and building up by firing a manager if they make the playoffs. I could be wrong tho, seen stranger things.

  2. djjackson81 - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    I like it Dodgers already showing excuses for them failing.

  3. djjackson81 - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Look at the A’s and teams like Tampa Rays great teams little payrolls. Look at the Angels Yankees and now Dodgers with there salaries and just cause you have 200 mil. In team salary doesn’t mean shit.

    • paint771 - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:26 PM

      I am sure the As and Rays would much prefer 200 million than being the go-to example in these conversations of “pluck”. I am sure they would tell you where to stick your pluck when it came right down to it.

      I get your point, but yeah…money doesn’t buy happiness. But it sure as hell don’t hurt.

    • thebadguyswon - Jan 22, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      Team salary most certainly does “mean shit.”

  4. djjackson81 - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    The Giants are still the team to beat and let’s not overlook Arizona Dodger fans. Dodgers could end season in third place NL West 2013.

  5. bobwsc - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    his head would never roll if the stache was still affixed.

  6. smoochytherhino - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Not that I wouldn’t be happy for him if he pulled it off with the Dodgers, but I want Donnie to make it just long enough in LA to wait out Girardi and then come to the Bronx. If this guy gets a WS ring as a manager, his first one should be in NY. He was my favorite player growing up and the 1995 loss to Seattle followed by Mattingly leaving and the Yankees winning it all in 1996 still bothers me to this day.

  7. digbysellers - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    I guess Tino Martinez should get ready to take over.

  8. Jack Marshall - Jan 22, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    No worries. Once Adrian Gonzalez explains that the Dodgers losing was God’s will, the team will realize that Mattingly couldn’t do anything about it.

  9. halohonk - Jan 22, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    I like Donnie baseball but having an ex yankee manage the dodgers is blasphomy. Felt the same about Torre. Dodgers need a blueblood in there maybe How bout Tim Wallach? hes paid his dues. Gotta be an ex Dodger. You watch if the Blue crew get off to a slow start, they will make a move quick.

  10. koufaxmitzvah - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    I am a fan of Donnie Baseball, but the fact is, if he can’t implement his vision with this team and be successful, then it makes sense to think about the future. The players are there. The mindset of Mattingly – Honeycutt – Lopes need to produce. I think it’s going to be fun.

  11. mazblast - Jan 22, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    I may be wrong, but it seems to me that the Dodgers did just fine with Walter Alston managing on 23 consecutive one-year contracts. No one doubted that he’d be back year-to-year.

    (For those who consider his time to be “ancient history”–only 4 years under .500, 8 second-place finishes, 7 pennants, 4 World Series titles)

  12. byesac - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Don has to take his share of the blame for last season’s collapse. But extending Ned and not extending Don makes no sense to me.

  13. sportsnut101 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    If the giants can play sucky most of the season n win world series Then why can’t dodgers.

  14. djjackson81 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Donnie ball fail to make playoffs maybe Magic Johnson can manage this payroll.

  15. djjackson81 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Ya 200 + million would be nice is spent on the players to fit that money. Beckett, Ethier,Crawford,Ramirez, over pays

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