Dodgers return to the scene of many losses: home

Dodgers return to the scene of many losses: home
Perhaps while in Arizona, Don Mattingly was pondering why the Dodgers play so poorly at home. (Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

The Dodgers come home Friday. That spells trouble with a capital "T" and that rhymes with "Gee, would somebody please explain this lunacy?"

Away from home the Dodgers are a fairly impressive 22-14. In the lovely confines of Chavez Ravine they are a stunning 13-19 and haven't won a home stand all season.


What gives?

Manager Don Mattingly told The Times' Bill Shaikin in Cincinnati any theories as to why this could be would be "just guesses," before offering one that had to take aback his employers.

The clubhouse is too marvelous.

"At home, it's so big now," he said. "There's a quiet room. There's a locker room. There's a weight room. You can go back in the sauna.

"We're not quite all in one room."

That's the Dodgers' problem at home, their joint is too lavish! Or at least too big.

Probably not what Guggenheim Baseball was planning on when it spent approximately $150 million on stadium upgrades, the biggest chunk going to give the Dodgers new home digs.

In addition to the locker area, weight room, sauna and quiet room, there is naturally a sizeable medical room, a dining area with private chefs, enormous batting cages, a juice bar and a video room -- and those are only the areas I know about. There are probably some other super-secret rooms hidden beneath the stands that require voice recognition before entry.

Mattingly's office is down another hallway and the coaches room is beyond that. There's another office for the traveling secretary and I believe for the team doctors.

Also, Las Vegas showgirls circulate in the clubhouse fanning players.

Mattingly's theory is less that the team is drowning in its own luxury, than it's simply too spread out all the time. Somebody's always somewhere and the team is seldom together, I guess practicing bonding exercises.

This didn't seem to be a problem last season when the Dodgers went on that 42-8 run and won the National League West. But who knows? If they'd actually been hanging out a little more together at home, maybe they would have gone 48-2 and won the whole thing.

For now, it is apparently just about survival in the home palace.