Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

A new Don Mattingly brush fire

This excerpt from Barry M. Bloom’s interview of Dodger manager Don Mattingly for could fan the flames of Mattingly’s detractors. You’re a guy who constantly analyzes himself. How do you evaluate the job you’ve done this year?

Mattingly: Here’s how at look at it: Are we losing because I’m making mistakes? I look at the baseball side of it. Sure, I’ve made some mistakes, but I’m not sitting here crushing us every day, costing us games. Then I look at it from the standpoint of, am I not getting my message through to the guys? Are we not playing the game the way I want it to be played? Are we not playing with the energy and urgency? I don’t go about it asking myself how I’m doing. I know my club is not playing well. But I feel like I’m doing fine the way I’m handling it.

Mattingly isn’t single-handedly costing the Dodgers games, but he might be downplaying the impact of some of his decisions. But in Mattingly’s defense, no, he’s not crushing the Dodgers.

There’s no mistaking that the discussion around Mattingly’s future has turned into a firestorm.

Joe Sheehan voiced this thought in a podcast appearance with Will Leitch of Sports on Earth recently, and I’m not sure I disagree with it. Baseball managers are really middle management. They have a role, but the buck just doesn’t stop with them. There’s no dismissing the responsibility of the front office to deliver the right players and for the players to deliver the right results.

Sheehan suggested that the time has really come to divide the manager’s job where necessary, to ensure that you have someone who can inspire and teach players and someone who can effectively execute in-game strategy and tactics. It’s the same notion that finds the head coach leading the team on the field but the offensive and/or defensive coordinators calling plays. In baseball, the bench coach could evolve to be more than, as Sheehan put it, “a drinking buddy.”

Previously on Dodger Thoughts: Will Don Mattingly make it back to Yankee Stadium as Dodger manager?

* * *

Scott Van Slyke has been put on the Dodger roster, with Elian Herrera returning to Albuquerque and Chad Billingsley going to the 60-day disabled list.

* * *

Marlins at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.


Pedro Guerrero hired to manage in Vallejo


Down in the hole


  1. Anonymous

    Pedro Guerrero’s scouting report from 1979, handwritten by Tony La Russa.

  2. I am reminded of Jim Bouton’s line in a book he co-edited that used a quotation from Rocky Bridges: I Managed Good, But Boy Did They Play Bad. While that line applies in some ways to Donnie B. and in other ways not at all, the line I’m thinking of is a shot of Connie Mack holding his scorecard and Bouton said that Mack positioned his players with a scorecard but “today they use coaches.” Different managers long have taken different approaches, and whether they work depends on the players–Casey Stengel wasn’t necessarily that different in Brooklyn and Boston than he was with the Yankees, but there he had the horses and knew what to do with them; whether another manager could have won 10 pennants in 12 years with those teams, we can never know. The point is, the manager may have a big impact strategically, may have an impact on the team’s personality and readiness, or maybe both. Or maybe there’s Tom Seaver’s response to the question of what role Yogi Berra played in the Mets winning the 1973 pennant. He said, absolutely none.

  3. Anonymous

    If given a list of 10 people the Dodgers were considering for Managers with Mattingly on the list, I might pick Mattingly. I can’t say I want to change Managers until I see the alternatives.

    Glad to see that the Dodgers thought Van Slyke only needed a three day refresher course in the outfield before bringing him up.

  4. Anonymous

    Are there 10 manager replacements that are more Dodger than not?








  5. Anonymous

    Against San Diego tonight, Tampa Bay’s Alex Cobb faced four batters. He struck them all out. And gave up a run.

  6. KT

    Dodgers Lineup for tonight:
    Crawford LF
    Punto 3B
    Gonzalez 1B
    Kemp CF
    Ethier RF
    Ellis C
    Schumaker 2B
    Gordon SS
    Magill P

  7. KT

    For those of you looking for the Dodgers game:

  8. KT

    There is the old Scrappy Mc Popup that we all know and love

  9. Anonymous

    Yes great catch by Skippy!!

  10. KT

    NICE Catch Shoe

  11. Anonymous

    Here we go . . . I hope!

  12. KT

    Come on Nicky

  13. Anonymous

    Punto should ‘bunto’…. :-)

  14. KT

    Good Eye Shredder

  15. KT


  16. Anonymous


  17. Anonymous

    Good golly Miss Molly!

  18. Anonymous

    Those three batters are all recent imports . . . now let’s see about the “old-time” Dodgers!

  19. Did I hear Vinnie say Matt’s got an 8-game hitting streak going?

    • Anonymous

      that’s what I heard as well. (and that’s what BR says).

      • Anonymous

        BR should also say that Matty cannot lay off that slider down and away!

  20. KT

    AJ!!…2 feet below the top of the wall

  21. Anonymous

    24 outs to go!

  22. Anonymous

    good job Matty!

  23. KT

    Good inning Matt

  24. KT

    Time to pile it on Boys…Start it off Dee

  25. Anonymous

    Nice try Dee

  26. Anonymous

    I can’t work up any enthusiasm for Mattingly, but I wonder about the alternatives as well.

    • Anonymous

      WBB! Cheers. Nice photo of???
      PS I don’t blame Donnie B when we can’t even move a runner from 2B to 3B.

  27. Anonymous

    “A terrific struggle”…great line Vinny :)

  28. KT


  29. KT

    SD just fell, Roxs are falling in the top of 9th 3-0…looks good for gain some ground back so far

  30. Anonymous

    Nice DP!!!

  31. KT

    Nice Play Gonzo!!

  32. Anonymous

    Good job Matty. Three shutout innings!!!!!

  33. Anonymous

    That was a great pitch!

  34. Anonymous

    Stop walking the leadoff man.

  35. Anonymous

    Not good Matty!

  36. Anonymous

    Come on Matty punch him out

  37. Anonymous

    Good pitch Matty!

  38. Anonymous

    Skippy again!!!!

  39. KT

    Nice Skippy!!

  40. Anonymous

    Tying run coming up…Yikes

  41. Anonymous

    Come on Matty you got him 2-2!!!
    OK 3-2

  42. Anonymous

    Frustrating with the walks!

  43. Anonymous


  44. Anonymous

    What’s killing you?
    Bases on balls!

  45. Anonymous

    That’s this team . . . if they get the runs, they give ’em back.

  46. KT

    Some fan could have traded that ball for some gear…Not smart to throw it back on the field

  47. Anonymous

    73 pitches already.

  48. Anonymous

    Rough inning.

  49. Anonymous

    But at least we’re not losing.

  50. KT

    Slappy McPopup comes through for us

  51. Anonymous

    Tis a cruel sport this game of baseball.
    But I love it.

  52. Anonymous

    Shake it off Matty!
    But stop walking the leadoff man!

  53. Anonymous

    Its OK Matty! A 1-2-3 inning :)

  54. KT

    Okay that was close…Come on guys let’s scratch this inning

  55. KT

    Nice Juan!!

  56. Anonymous

    Our offense has disappeared!

  57. KT

    Let’s go Shredder

  58. KT

    What started off so well sure came to a screeching halt

  59. KT

    Ken Gurnick ‏@kengurnick 2m

    Zack Greinke said he expects to pitch for the Dodgers Wednesday

  60. KT

    Come on Dee

  61. KT

    Come on Tim

  62. Anonymous

    Swinging for the fences.

  63. KT

    in play…wall gave

  64. Anonymous

    And so it goes.

  65. Anonymous

    The Revenge of Slappy McPopUp!

  66. KT

    Kings Win and Advance

  67. KT

    we really need to scratch here…Come on Matty Lead this team

  68. KT

    Nice Matty…Come on Dre you’re Due

  69. KT

    Good steal Matty!!

  70. KT

    Come on AJ…little more umph this time and put it over the wall

  71. Anonymous

    Let’s go, Dodgers, clap clap clap clap clap!

  72. Anonymous

    Way to go, AJ!

  73. KT

    Come on Skippy

  74. KT

    Nice way to move up AJ

  75. KT

    Come on Dee…Bring AJ home

  76. Anonymous

    Up to you, Dee.

  77. Anonymous


  78. Anonymous

    Paco for closer!

  79. Anonymous

    Love watching Paco pitch.

  80. KT

    Got 1, need at least 1 more but I’ll settle for 2 for a walk off in the 9th

    9 ,1, 2…I think we can do this

  81. KT


  82. Anonymous


  83. KT

    I think this ump just likes to do his called strike 3 motion…two bad calls this inning
    Night all

  84. Anonymous

    “We have to win sometime, don’t we?” she repeats, plaintively.

  85. Anonymous

    Everybody ready for a double digit losing streak? I know I am. “Whole new blue” yep.

  86. Anonymous

    I’m kinda puzzled…..
    All day long, I’ve heard various radio/tv people suggest that the Dodgers should ‘get well’ against this not-so-good Marlins club…..
    Helloooooooo! :-)


    Kinda reminds me of of that Seinfeld when George wears a hairpiece…
    Elaine: So, you dumped a woman because she’s bald?
    George: Yeah, so?
    Elaine: You’re Baaaaaaaaaaald!

    • Anonymous

      When you lose to a “not-so-good” club, what does that make you?

  87. Anonymous

    The TRUE slogan: “Dodger Thoughts: Never More Needed”
    Jon Weisman’s outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers and baseball.

    • Anonymous

      I was just thinking that myself. I’d be out of my mind without this site.

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