9:47 PM PDT, May 6, 2013
It's one thing to leave your heart in San Francisco, quite another to lose your mind there like Don Mattingly.
Has there ever been a more ridiculous comment offered by a Dodgers manager, and take into account Tom Lasorda said a lot of ridiculous stuff while on the job, than what Mattingly said Sunday?
The Dodgers lost three straight to the Giants, whom they will probably have to beat if they are to win a division title.
And Mattingly said: "I feel better about our club walking out of here than I did walking in."
My apologies to Mike D'Antoni for thinking he was the most clueless coach in town.
"So you're now counting moral victories?" I began.
"I didn't say moral victories," Mattingly said. And I wonder if when he was a Yankee he ever considered three straight losses to Boston so uplifting.
"Don't put words in my mouth."
OK, so I pulled out Bill Shaikin's story in The Times on Monday and read to Mattingly what he'd said a night earlier.
"I said that," Mattingly agreed. "And I knew you'd have trouble with this.
"It isn't one of those things you say that makes a lot of sense from the standpoint of just looking at the bottom line in the three games."
I worry Magic Johnson will take notice of the bottom line and start talking about the Dodgers like he did the Lakers.
"For me," Mattingly continued, "it was more a feel that you get from your club. It kind of almost gives you a confidence if we can continue that, it's going to work out."
I have no doubt the Dodgers can continue to lose like they did in San Francisco.
But come on, yahoo because they got within a run of the Giants in every game?
"I didn't have any yahoos in there," said Mattingly.
That apparently was the cue for the Prime Ticket yahoo who butted in to save Mattingly. He was just doing his job, of course. Prime Ticket is the Dodgers' TV partner and employs yahoos rather than journalists to keep the Dodgers happy.
"I think part of what you are onto is that your team was able to produce comebacks in going down by multiple runs," the Prime Ticket yahoo told Mattingly, while extending a microphone in front of Mattingly's face. "Is that part of the encouraging signs you were talking about?"
Mattingly stammered a little, still a little uneasy at times when questioned by a cheerleader.
"It's not really so much the comebacks," Mattingly said. "It's more the feel you get and how they are going about their business now.
"There have been some games where we got behind by two runs and it felt like the energy was lacking at that point."
How's that for a revelation? The Dodgers are only 30 games into the season, when you would think energy would not be a problem, but their manager saw them surrendering when two runs down.
Maybe it's because Ted Lilly was pitching and they figured in another inning or two they'd be trailing by four.
"That last series was more of a constant going forward," Mattingly said. And wouldn't you expect the Dodgers to get a little pep in their step when taking on the Giants?
"I know you don't understand it," said Mattingly.
Hard to swallow hogwash, since the Dodgers were touted to be one of the great teams but so far are falling flat.
Now we're being told things are really looking up after losing three straight.
"Tell me about some of the injuries," said the Prime Ticket yahoo.
Once everyone got the not-so-subtle message that the Dodgers have been hurt by injuries, Mattingly was asked if he was giving his team a pep talk via the media.
"The feeling I'm having with this club right now is a pretty good feeling," he said. "I feel like we're moving in the right direction. I feel like we're getting ready to go somewhere."
The facts suggest the Dodgers are headed to last place in the division standings.
"Have you been listening to Mike Scioscia's interviews?" I asked Mattingly, now that he seems lost in denial.
How can anyone be encouraged by a Dodgers team that has done nothing but disappoint the last few years, ownership making no difference?
They now have a first baseman who says he will no longer be a power hitter and I had no idea James Loney had resurfaced. They have a second baseman and shortstop on the disabled list and never did have a qualified third baseman.
Matt Kemp is a lost soul with only one home run, and remember when folks thought Andre Ethier was a real force?
The Diamondbacks' cleanup hitter Monday night was Cody Ross, a long-ago journeyman Dodger, and Arizona is ahead of the Dodgers in the standings.
Chris Capuano was the Dodgers' starting pitcher, and as inconsistent as he has been, it's shocking he's not pitching for the Angels. Probably next season.
When I mentioned Capuano, that's when the Prime Ticket yahoo left. There is only so much one can do to pump up these Dodgers, Capuano apparently the limit.
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