LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – After an awkward October news conference in which Don Mattingly practically threatened to quit if he didn’t get a contract extension, Dodgers President Stan Kasten tried to explain away Mattingly’s comments as the result of a misunderstanding between the manager and front office.
Kasten didn’t offer any details at the time, saying he would let Mattingly explain what happened. Mattingly had his first chance to do so at baseball’s winter meetings Tuesday and decided not to.
“At this point, it’s not worth talking about,” Mattingly said. “I think that day I was fairly clear. Like anything else that's happened with me in the past, you talk about it and you don't continue to talk about it. I don't think anybody really wants to hear about my situation. They'd rather hear about the players, what we’re trying to do, how we're trying to win. “
Told fans probably wanted to know how he felt about his situation, Mattingly replied, “Again, I think it's something that you may think they want to hear it.”
Mattingly said he felt “fine” about his predicament after speaking to Kasten, as well as owners Mark Walter and Todd Boehly.
Asked how he feels differently now than he did in October, Mattingly said, “Just being able to talk and express how you feel about stuff.”
Mattingly wouldn’t say if he still wanted a contract extension.
“I don’t think people want to hear about me,” he said.
Mattingly confirmed that he and the Dodgers are talking about a new deal.
“I’m happy with the way everything’s going,” he said.
Asked if a new deal could be agreed upon this winter, Mattingly said, “Again, I’m happy with the way everything’s going. I know Ned doesn’t want to talk about it, Stan doesn’t want to talk about it. I don’t think talking about it publicly talking about it is going to do any good.”
Mattingly was reminded that he said in October that he didn’t want to return as a lame-duck manager.
“Again, I don’t want to keep going into it,” he said. “I’m comfortable right now.”
Why are you comfortable?
“I just am,” he said.
Do you feel wanted?
“Seriously?” he said.
In October, Mattingly sounded uncertain if he thought management thought he was the right person to manage the team.
“Again, everything I've said that day is still the same,” he said.
So, Mattingly is still uncertain?
“Everything I said that day, I'm not backing off anything I've said,” he said. “I don't want to talk about it anymore.”