In his latest and sharpest comments distancing himself from the organization, Mattingly appeared to criticize the Dodgers' free-spending ways. Mattingly has pointed enough fingers at players and the front office over the past few days that he must either suspect his days are numbered — or he already knows that they are.
When Mattingly spoke with reporters in Milwaukee on Wednesday, as the manager of a last-place team with the highest payroll in baseball history, he said this: "It's not just all, 'Let's go put an All-Star team out there and play games, and the team with the All-Star team wins.' … All grit and no talent is not going to get you there, and all talent and no grit is not going to get you there. There's got to be a mixture of both."
If the owners recall what Mattingly said in
"If we don't win, and we're healthy, they really should look at it," Mattingly said then. "This team has a lot of talent. My job, and my coaches' job, is to get them to play the game right. If we can't get them to play the game right, they may have the wrong voice."
The Dodgers are not healthy, of course, but the only significant injury among position players is the one to shortstop
Mattingly benched outfielder
That is two "I," one "my" and one "me" in an industry that emphasizes "us" and "we." Players and the front office notice those words.
In stark contrast, this is how Mattingly explained the weekend decision to demote catcher
And, as the Dodgers' bullpen lost all three games last weekend in Atlanta, Mattingly appeared to point out how the front office stashed surplus starters in the bullpen, forcing the team to cut veteran relievers who might have been useful
"We had guys get away early who seemed to fit," Mattingly said.
Mattingly also publicly critiqued shortstop
There has been some thought within the Dodgers’ organization that the team might need a sterner voice in the clubhouse, a manager who would lean to challenging players rather than supporting them. Of course, the tag team of
That Mattingly essentially is admitting he cannot get Ethier to play hard every day does not reflect well on either of them. The owners might notice that the manager did not get much out of