When Miami Marlins Manager Don Mattingly spoke to reporters about Dee Gordon’s 80-game drug suspension for the first time, he didn’t sound irritated, as he often does when questioned about something unpleasant.
Mattingly was heartbroken. You could see it in his eyes, hear it in his voice.
“I feel like he’s one of my kids, to be honest with you,” said Mattingly, who also managed Gordon with the Dodgers.
Mattingly almost certainly wasn’t alone. Gordon would be likable in any segment of society, but his personality especially stood out in baseball, where a number of players are self-absorbed and emotionally underdeveloped. The mistake was...