Dodger Thoughts

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

Don Mattingly channels Charlie Dressen

The Dodger managerial career of Walter Alston began when he was hired in the 1953-54 offseason on the first of 23 one-year contracts to replace Charlie Dressen, who had legendarily requested a multiyear deal after winning the National League pennant with 105 victories but was then shown the door.

Judging by tweets from today’s (by numerous accounts) tensely uncomfortable Dodger press conference involving Don Mattingly and Ned Colletti, Mattingly was unhappy that it was so easy to view him as a lame duck and is testing the same path.

Put another way, Mattingly may have decided to sacrifice his current managerial job to move his future to the next base.

Third-base coach Tim Wallach, by the way, is considered a top MLB managerial candidate by several observers. So aside from looking outside the organization, there remains at least one in-house alternative, should Mattingly and the Dodgers part ways.


Dodgers havana field day with Cuban talent, reportedly signing Alexander Guerrero


Don Mattingly, Trey Hillman, Sue Falsone and our ignorance


  1. gus2327

    Tim Wallach is the only replacement I would take over Donnie Baseball from legitimate available candidates. That being said, Donnie B deserves not to be left hanging on a year by year basis.

    • dalegribel

      You stole my thunder. Couldn’t have said this any better.

    • WBBsAs

      Mattingly is a strategically deficient manager who is utterly replaceable. The only question is whether the replacement will be an improvement, but he’s unlikely to be any worse.

  2. Did Don just say that he might not be coming back? Wow, this is a study in passive aggressive behavior.

  3. I’m not clear how the Dodgers put these guys out there for the media with this much tension brewing, unless something erupted between the time it was announced (yesterday) and the time it took place (this morning).

    • Right? This is insane. That smirk that Donnie had when the reporter asked him about other openings was legend — wait for it —- dary. And that will be my one and only How I Met Your Mother reference ever.

    • RBI

      Very awkward indeed.

  4. Bob_Hendley

    Management blames him for us not being in the WS, but is willing to give him another chance? I guess he is supposed to feel grateful.

  5. Adam Luther

    Mattingly had something to do with going on a 42-8 run. Has seen the team go from third to second to first place in the division since being named manager. Has to be a manager of the year candidate in the NL, but perhaps his time in L.A. is over. A weird presser to be sure.

    • RBI

      I am so ambivalent about him! Appreciate some things, am frustrated by others. But I feel as he does, in reverse. If he doesn’t want to be here, I think he should move on. I did get the sense as the playoffs progressed that the game was moving faster than he was. No stats, just my feeling, especially in contrast to opposing managers.

  6. foul tip

    Last post head…Dodgers “havana” field day.

    You probably could recreate an entire post of nothing but your bad puns. Probably a good read if you did.

  7. Go_Bears

    What the difference? Even if Mattingly gets a multiyear deal, he can still be fired before it ends. There is no such thing as security of employment. All managers are lame ducks all the time. The only risk the team runs from a longer-term deal is the cost of the extra years. But this ownership no longer seems to have a budget constraint.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Its the messaging, no? They don’t ncessarily think he has done a good job, but are willing to give him another shot to improve.

  8. TPruett

    I think Donnie is a puzzle, because he appears to be great at some things: getting the players to play hard for him, having them all on the same page, and setting a consistent tone of professionalism. I also think he did well guiding his team during the McCourt firestorm and aftermath. The meager talent he had on hand in 2011 and most of 2012 had a winning record, and this year, with a more talented club, (when healthy), won 92 games. That’s the Good Donnie. The Bad Donnie: He’s perhaps the worst in-game manager I’ve ever witnessed. My personal preference would be to make a move after next year (I feel he has capacity for growth; perhaps his propensity to sac bunt, to intentionally walk every warm body he sees, and to adhere to the “closer myth” will diminish)…and no, I DON’T think his contract status would be a distraction, unless he allows it to be. if and when they do get rid of him, I would prefer Manny Acta.

    • dalegribel

      Acta? Well, maybe third time is a charm, but no thanks would be my vote.

      • TPruett

        He’s never had talent to manage. But he does think out of the box strategically, and his players respected him.

    • Go_Bears

      I agree with your evaluation of this strengths and weaknesses, but I would argue that the things you say he’s good are vastly more important than his obsession with bunting. Especially with a clubhouse full of ginormous contracts, the people managing is vital. The occasional wasted out is frustrating, but not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. I bet the difference between the best in-game manager and the worst is at most a couple of games per season. The rest is luck.

      • TPruett

        I do agree that the things off the field are more important…perhaps vastly more important. However, if is game management ineptitude undermines the players’ faith in him (as was rumored after the disastrous Atlanta decisions) then how long will his off the field benefits last? How long before the team lays down on him?

        • Go_Bears

          Fair enough. I did like AJ Eliis’s half-joking screed about how only pitchers should bunt in that video interview that Jon posted.

  9. thescrounger

    It appears, at least in Donnie’s mind, that the Dodgers dropped the ball in not granting his extension during the hard times as a show of confidence. Now it takes a full fledged multi-year contract to properly show their appreciation. Interesting to see how all this works out. No matter who the Manager is, we will criticize his decisions and root for the club as usual.

  10. Casey Barker

    Scrolling through the screen captures of the videos listed by Jill Painter reminds me of watching an episode of Tom Goes to the Mayor.

  11. michaelgreenlasvegas

    You never know what else lurks in the background. Some have criticized Donnie B. for sticking too long with League, among others. Then I think of the story of how Buzzie Bavasi would call Walter Alston and tell him to start so-and-so. Since I have never been impressed with Ned Colletti (if he could find money for Jason Schmidt and Juan Uribe during the Era of He Who Should Not Be Named, he doesn’t get a pass for not building a winner then and doing it now with beaucoup bucks), one wonders if this was a message over his head about more than just the contract.

    • This by all appearances is a Kasten issue, not a Colletti issue.

      • michaelgreenlasvegas

        It very well may be. But Colletti may well have his own issues and tendencies for us to consider in this, too.

  12. Thinking back now to that presser, it felt like we were about seven minutes away from Ned bringing out the overhead projector and going full Al Davis on Donnie.

  13. Spence

    So his option vesting was based on a playoff series win? Thats um interesting. If he’s not comfortable managing a team of high payrolls/expectations, he probably should take something less challenging.

  14. Bumsrap


  15. 2014 prediction: Puig hits three HR, but Dodgers lose Game 7 of World Series on road, all because Puig failed on a diving catch in the All-Star Game that cost the NL home-field advantage.

  16. package206

    Nothing would make me any happier than for Donnie B. to hit the road. Anyone can rest players and his ingame managing is not good.

  17. WBBsAs

    To me, both Colletti and Mattingly are McCourt holdovers who no longer belong at Dodger Stadium. The effect of their leaving would be cathartic.

  18. Adam Luther

    Could Gibson land in Detroit or????

    • SaMoDodger

      Can you say nonplussed? What a collection of unimpressed jornos! Maybe Soohoo turned his camera to the dais when the real interesting stuff happened.

    • Spence

      Thats great news. Whatever she was doing or was not doing – it was a disaster this year. Way too many injuries, rushing players back, just a complete mess. Hopefully the next person they put in that position will have sufficient experience at running a pro sports team.

  19. Jack Dawkins

    It feels to me that Donnie already has a feelign through his agent that hes gonna get a 2 yearr deal at most, and this is a year or 3 shy of what he thinks he deserves. Insecurity I should think. Managers who have been around i think are happy with shorter deals as they know they will earn more years as they perform.

  20. Howard Fox

    I am not a Mattingly fan. That being said, perhaps his hands were tied by management in regard to handling Puig and disciplining his actions both afield and at the plate?

    • Casey Barker

      I got that feeling when Mattingly benched Puig early, and then had a closed door meeting with Puig and Colletti after the game. Why was Colletti even there?

  21. GoDodgersFromWisconsin

    Mattingly’s a nice guy and a consummate professional. He’s not a good manager. If he wants to go elsewhere, let him.

    I’d wish him all the best, but I just don’t think he’s suited to the top job at this level. Hitting coach, sure. Manager…no.

  22. JonnyTAFKAJ

    I’m sorry here… but, I have to chime in on this one….
    I watched the videos, and yes… it’s easy to see that Ned’s got his ‘poker face’ in full effect.
    However, he’s not going to negotiate a contract with Donny in front of the media either….
    Ned needs to look in the mirror about a number of issues before he even takes a look at Donny….
    1. How does he track players (and their health, etc.) in the off season?
    2. How does he evaluate players? (not just the numbers, but their work ethic, and their propensity for injury)
    Two names: Ted Lilly and Chad Billingsley (giving a pass to Jason Schmidt)
    To me, it is so absolutely unacceptable that a pitcher has an uneventful off season with no ‘red flags’ … shows up to spring training….pitches for a week or so…. then is lost for the season for surgery, etc.

    Ned, you’re a complete ‘sucker’ when it comes to this. You need to make your players accountable ’24/7 …. 365′ when they’re under contract with the LA Dodgers. If they won’t comply, ‘cut ’em’… you’re backed by guys with all the cash you need.

    Andre Ethier: Had it not been for TJ Simers ‘grinding’ him in the club house for his poor performance, who knows how long it would have been until he got his surgery last year. Way to be ‘in sync’ with your roster, Ned.

    Yasiel Puig: Big concerns with this guy…. his attitude, his erratic play. While totally entertaining, I can’t help but to think that this guy will be just ‘100% Enigma’ for his entire career.

    PS – The notion that TWC needs to replace the likes of Steve Lyons in order to ‘put their own stamp’ on all-things-Dodger… save it. Keep this guy. He’s a Dodger fan. He’s knowledgeable and passionate about this club. Don’t just get your own people… just because they’re ‘you’re own people’. You wouldn’t do that to Vinny. Just my opinion there on Steve. I like him

    Anyways, Ned should be looking out for his ‘own back’…. not Donny. PS- Wallach is ‘boring.’

    That Wallach analysis sounds short-sighted and sophomoric, I realize, but that’s my summation.

    • JonnyTAFKAJ

      On a side note…. I am not bitter at all about what happened to this club this season.

      Their run was incredible. Just couldn’t get it done vs. a very good St. Louis club.

      It’s just that, as a sports fan of so many years now… I get tired of the garbage that goes on at the end of a season.

      My read: Ned’s trying to look really ‘stern’…. so, it looks to upper management like he’s on it.

      He’s on the case. Save it Ned. You made mistakes too.

      2013 Dodgers: They had one of the best ‘runs’ of all time, but … to put it a bit crass: They were like an adult film star who, when the bright lights and cameras went on, just went limp.

      The Cards, meanwhile, were ‘long and strong’ Let’s look to 2014.

    • “, it is so absolutely unacceptable that a pitcher has an uneventful off
      season with no ‘red flags’ … shows up to spring training….pitches
      for a week or so…. then is lost for the season for surgery, etc.”

      I don’t know who you are referring to with this, but it can’t be Billingsley or Lilly, both of whom came to Spring Training draped in red flags.

      • JonnyTAFKAJ

        This is true, Jon.
        It just seems like Ned should ‘cop’ to it, and at least admit that he felt he was kinda ‘rolling the dice’ by signing Lilly for 3 yrs and Bills to the extension.

        Anyways, just know this…. I didn’t comment much throughout the second half of the season. I kinda didn’t want to jinx it, as the longer I went without posting, the longer the winning went on. Superstitious? Yes. But, Jon… your postings this season have been some of your best ever. And also, you were very creative in your usage of videos, multi-media, etc…. Well done. Can’t wait for 2014.

        PS – If I were TWC, I’d contact you about a part in their Dodger coverage.

        Have your agent get on that one. :-)

        • Thanks, Jonny.

          I think Ned would be the first to admit that any long-term contract on a pitcher is a roll of the dice. That’s not really a secret. Relatively speaking, the Billingsley extension was a good risk health-wise.

          • rumped6

            Speaking as one of your east coast relatives, I thought, given Chad’s
            unwillingness to shape/re-shape an unusual baseball body, that contract, while not a blockbuster, was a marginally poor risk, health-wise.
            As was Andre’s. As was Lilly’s. As was Jason Schmidt’s (and said so, for all of them, at the time). Would have preferred Lilly in the Jason Schmidt free agent class; by second signing, the chances for injury seemed as great as those for that same Jason. And in all cases, the doubts proved on the money.

    • btimmer

      Steve Lyons is a Dodgers fan because they paid him to be one.

  23. DS1981

    Let’s not forget on whose watch Mattingly got this job. Everything under Mccourt was done on the cheap and Mattingly replaced Torre because he was a “name” which Mccourt always loved and because he came cheap. That’s it. There was no other reason he was hired. I hope he knows that.

    This year’s team can be very easily summed up. When they were healthy they were great, whey they weren’t healthy they were bad. And Mattingly had nothing to do with any of it, just like most managers have nothing to do with the successes or failures of their teams.

  24. DS1981

    Haven’t been keeping up with dodger news since they lost, so i just read tonight that olney’s report about Kershaw apparently rejecting a $300 mil offer. I mean pro athletes are often accused of not living in a real world and lacking self awareness, but if true this takes it to another level. So he either thinks he’s worth more for playing a kid’s game which makes him certifiably crazy or he just doesn’t want to be here. Either way Kasten and co. need to seriously consider trading him. They wouldn’t get a mother load in return of course because he’d just be a 1 year rental, but they’d still get a great return. Then trade for Davis, sign Tanaka and they’re set.

    • RBI

      My understanding is that this offer was rejected some time ago, and had to do with the length and scope,as well as Kershaw wanting not to be distracted by contract discussions during the season, not that Kershaw “didn’t want to be here.” I feel as if Ken Gurnick has reignited this as “controversy” and worded the old news in an inflammatory way for whatever journalistic reasons he has. I often find his slant to be a bit negative.

      • DS1981

        Gurnick? I thought it was Olney who first reported it. Anyway, doesn’s matter. If the length and scope is a problem, then like i said he obviously doesn’t want be here long term. The guggenheimers and Kershaw not being able to come to terms on an extension since they bought the team has always been kind of odd. Here we have an ownership group for whom, at least for now, money is no object. They’ve been trading for/signing players older and worse than Kershaw to huge contracts, so it’s obvious there is plenty of money left for him too. To me it’s seemed that for whatever reason all the hesitation in this came from Kershaw’s camp, which we now have a confirmation of.

  25. package206

    Does anyone know why Kemp would wait this long to operate on his ankle? Seems like it could have been done earlier to ensure he will be ready for spring. Does he just want more time off in the spring?

    • foul tip

      Every indication Kemp has ever given to close observers is that he wants to play every minute of every game.

      The idea he’d delay some surgery to get more time off in ST is ludicrous.

      You seem to have bought into a stereotype of Kemp as slacker, troublemaker, whatever.

      Why? Based on what evidence?

    • Because they thought it might heal without surgery, which is usually preferable for being less invasive. Similar scenario (on a smaller scale) as Billingsley.

      • package206

        Thanks Jon, I just asked the question. Didn’t mean to infer that Kemp is a problem.

  26. thai21

    I’ve defended Mattingly when the critics were ready to fire him during the Dodgers’ early struggles, but I’m not liking what amounts to presenting the new owners with an ultimatum. After all, they just bought the team and need time to evaluate everything first-hand. Donnie B’s assertion of “either you know or you don’t” after 3 years doesn’t apply here, especially since most observers–myself included–consider him unproven as a complete major league manager. I’d love to have Scioscia back in the system, but I’m willing to go with Tim Wallach. Donnie doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt at this juncture and if he wants to leave, let him.

    • rumped6

      Not so big a Scioscia fan anymore. The “brand” of baseball, in spite of talent limitations, is always somehow the responsibility of managers/coaches. And the Angel brand has been less than impressive for a good while now…

  27. 14hodges

    How do folks interpret the firing of Trey Hillman? How does that action read re: the Mattingly situation?

    • I think the idea of Mattingly managing the Dodgers next year has set sail. I guess the only other possibility, floated at MSTI, is that a new bench coach was a condition for an extension for Mattingly.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Two possible scenarios:
      Ned: Why did you bunt!?
      DM: Trey told me to.
      Ned: Why did DM bunt!?
      Trey: He never listens to me.

      • rumped6

        Not being local, I asked the Trey Hillman question when so many were so unhappy with the Agon pinch-run decision.

        Did Trey have a rep for a good tactical feel? Did Donnie listen?

        Still haven’t seen any clear analysis, but don’t like the way this was done, watching from too far away for that to mean much:-).

        Do not agree managers are unimportant hires. At all.
        Do agree that some of the historically best are not the guys you would hire to
        make game decisions in brief series.

        Ds did not lose to Cards, imo, because of Donnie and Trey (and played an historically successful run with them making sometimes key moves). Pressured at-bats with men on base (McGuire said they had a great plan; all that was left was to execute it. Boy, did they “execute” it:-). Bias, intentional or un-, from balls and strikes guys in both Kershaw starts, favoring Wacha. Dodger first-round choice in 2007 from Saint Logan, pitching marginally important relief, and fairly well; Cardinals 2011(?) first-rounder with a slightly more important role, matching Clayton first time, out-pitching him second. ALL more important factors than Donnie’s strategic “blunders.”

        I notice the more stat-oriented tend to ignore the managerial values that enhance long-term success, and over-emphasize the real, and important, occasional short-term head-scratchers.

        Think Bob H made the point: we don’t tend to focus on successful moves; take them for granted when team wins. In the end, t’ain’t fair, McGee.

  28. ASW1

    What Jon said below : “This by all appearances is a Kasten issue, not a Colletti issue.” is bolstered by Dylan Hernandez in this mornings’ Times :

    “Kasten operated under the mistaken assumption that if he didn’t address it, it wouldn’t be written or talked about. The tactic might have worked in smaller cities in which Kasten previously ran teams but backfired spectacularly in America’s second-largest media market.

    Not wanting to cause any distractions for his team, Mattingly played along with Kasten during the season, according to a person familiar with the manager’s thinking. But Mattingly became upset in the days that followed the Dodgers’ elimination, as no one reached out to him to address his or his coaching staff’s future.

    Kasten usually loves talking in front of television cameras but conveniently excused himself from the Monday news conference. Later, he declined an additional opportunity to defend his handling of the matter. As such, Colletti was left in the uncomfortable position of answering questions on his behalf.

    Colletti wants Mattingly back and it makes sense he would. Mattingly’s departure would place him next in line to be fired. But Colletti also couldn’t back Mattingly completely, as doing so would amount to him questioning Kasten’s policies.

    Colletti drew on the political savvy that helped him survive for eight seasons, simultaneously walking a tightrope and tap-dancing around land mines.”

    Complete article here :,0,3808970.story#axzz2iTSvLgEs

    • ASW1

      I did like this from Colletti (from the same article), basically telling Donnie Baseball to either be happy with the one-year extension or good luck with your job search :

      But asked if he understood Mattingly’s concerns about being a lame duck, Colletti offered this non-answer: “It’s a personal taste. There’s a lot of guys that have won on one-year contracts — not one-year contracts, but the end of a contract. There’s people that have won the World Series in that situation and there’s people that haven’t. There’s people that have had three-year contracts and didn’t survive the first two weeks of it.”

  29. thescrounger

    You can’t say they’re not entertaining…

  30. Changing the subject (temporarily): I had a very vivid dream last night of Kershaw being hit by a pitch in the batting helmet and throwing his bat at the pitcher. The pitcher then threw a ball at Kershaw, and then Clayton charged the mound.

    The strangest thing about this, though? Kershaw was hitting right-handed!

  31. Jack Dawkins

    Firing Hillman to me is a message that they don’t think mattingly is much of a tactician. seeing as how Hillman was his guy I can see Donnie being upset, but these are the big leagues. They have surrounded him with veterans, Lopes, Wallach, Honeycutt, even Big Mac, and the perception must be that he doesnt listen to them.

  32. NoahUCLA

    It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out. The only two people that I’d like to see stay for sure are Lopes and Honey. I think Mattingly should stay as well, but not if they’ve already soured him on the organization. I don’t see why this in game stuff is such a huge deal. It seems like he won when Hanley was healthy, and lost when he wasn’t. Add into the mix that Kemp was never really healthy even when he was playing and you see the problem. Yes, bats like Hanley and Kemp are important, especially against the better ptiching you see in the playoffs. The Braves were not a pushover team by any means. LaRussa and Torre were not the best in-game managers either, but they are gods. So, I don’t get it.

    • Howard Fox

      The only thing Donnie does consistently is make questionable moves at key points of games. Yes, he was hamstrung by a rash of injuries, but name a team that wasn’t. As a long time American Leaguer, he still does not understand the double switch. He does not understand the nuances of moving runners along, manufacturing runs. This is understandable, given the lineups the Yankees had when he was in NY. He is hung up on lefty-righty matchups. I could go on and on, and I probably will, but its all been said, I am sure.
      He needs a strategist in his ear that he will pay attention to during game situations. This is not giving up his authority as he may think. It is being a good manager (and this would apply to any organization, not just baseball), using the resources around you, delegating where necessary.

      • NoahUCLA

        Some people think he bunts too much, and some I guess think he doesn’t bunt enough and move runners over. Some think he lets Ethier and Crawford hit lefty pitching too much, and some think he switches too much. Some think he should use Jansen against the other teams best hitters no matter what the inning, and some think Jansen should be the designated closer. Some people think he used Paco and Beli too much, others think League, Guerrier etc. had no business ever pitching in a game. I don’t think people are seeing that there are 2 sides to every decision and he will be questioned whichever he chooses. I also don’t think these things cost the team anything in the long run.

        • Howard Fox

          I think the 5 or 6 blown saves by League may have had some effect on which team finished with the best record in the NL. But I could be wrong.

          • NoahUCLA

            But that just allows him to blow the game in the 8th inning, or uses Paco and Beli even more. Also, Colletti paid League major bucks to be the closer, so I doubt that Donnie even had the choice to not let him blow a few saves before he could switch to Jansen.

        • Bob_Hendley

          This is not about what some think, this is about Kasten, who seems to question DM’s in-game managing.

      • rumped6

        I agree, I’d like to know Donnie has a Zimmer, AND will listen.

        Maybe Trey was one, and maybe Donnie didn’t….

    • rumped6

      Well said, Noah. Strategic blunders magnified in big series, long-run success (42-8!?!)
      sorta taken for granted.
      Whitey Herzog, considered an all-time great in his day, over-manged the dickens in the

      playoffs. Sorta-kinda built-in, like the bad at-bats with risp. Pressure, pressure, pressure, and so easy to critique for those of us peanuts in the gallery.

  33. package206

    I think Hillman was fired in the hopes Donnie would get mad and resign. The Dodgers then save face and rid themselves of Donnie.

    • NoahUCLA

      I actually see it a little differently. I think they are firing Hillman to put somebody on the bench with more in game experience, who is not a close Donnie friend, to help Donnie with in game decisions, but allow him to stay on as manager. I think they offer Donnie a 3 year contract. I don’t know if he’ll accept or not, but I think they have no problem with him coming back, if they get their man as bench coach.

      • I agree with this. I think it seems clear Dodgers didn’t want to keep Hillman around even before this season, and when there were enough in-game decisions they felt frustrated with they decided it finally was time. If Donnie is adamant about it or miffed he may be gone. But more likely they’ll work something out, and hopefully have a smarter baseball mind as bench coach than Hillman.

        • rumped6

          On what basis are you so sure of Trey’s limits?

          • So sure? I don’t know. But I’m basing my opinion on his stint as a manager himself, in addition to what I know of the bench coach’s role and decisions that were made in-game throughout the season. I can’t imagine there’s zero reason for the Dodgers new ownership to have been wary about keeping him around. But I also will admit none of us are privy to inside the dugout goings on so it’s all just guesstimating and gut feelings really. (But also his own stint as manager.)

    • rumped6

      Some folks in the national media agree.

  34. I finally found a columnist writing about the World Series that I’ll read!,0,7703851.story#axzz2iUQwNsOW

    AJ Ellis writing on NLCS heartbreak, and the matchup.

    • RBI

      I am crazy about AJ Ellis. There. I said it.

      • rumped6

        Did your feelings take a hit with that game 2 passed ball over the outer third of the plate?:-)

        • RBI

          A hit, yes, but short lived: the man not only can catch, he can write.

  35. Does anyone really have a clue what input Hillman did or didn’t have on strategic decisions?

    • RBI

      Not me!

    • Howard Fox

      I think Hillman chose the flavor of chewing gum in the dugout, Donnie didnt like it, and never relied on him again.

    • package206

      No idea what functions Hillman played with strategic decisions but I think that Donnie airing his problems with the team in the media was not smart. Kinda like his ingame managing. I feel that he is considered part of the old regime and many organizations like to bring their own folks into their new regimes.

      • Sure, but Colletti and White and a bunch of others are also old regime.

        • package206

          White has a good track record and is not as visable as Mattingly. Colletti may not remain more than another season. He has made some good moves but also some very bad moves.

          • NoahUCLA

            It may not have been the correct move to draft Wacha over Seager, but oh man how I wish we didn’t face Wacha this year and he was on our staff.

          • package206

            Very good point!

          • Bumsrap

            The rare time the Dodgers don’t draft an arm over a bat and they pass on Wacha

          • rumped6

            In fairness, a bunch of teams, supported by a general consensus he had a low ceiling, passed on him. IF Logan is the guy so many of you have claimed for so long, he would not so consistently draft a Withrow (modest and real help, an inning or two, six years later), would, at least occasionally, swim against the tide as the Cards did, and get a Wacha (championship cog).

          • rumped6

            Two years later the Cards have Wacha; six years later, the Ds have Withrow.

            That kinda sums my concerns

          • rumped6

            Disagree about Logan’s track record, though make no final judgments
            since I don’t know how decisions are made in Dodger FO, this one or previous entries.
            His record (yes, he had serious limits with McCourts; so do the Tampa Bay Rays and fifteen or twenty other orgs who have drafted better) on everyday players is awful; and the amount of capital spent on pitchers has yielded, overall, modest results at best.

        • DS1981

          And most people want Colletti out, don’t they? As for White, it’s interesting the godlike status he has attained among some fans. I think it was largely because when compared to all the bafoons that worked for this team during the Mccourt years, he looked pretty good. But really his record doesn’t justify his rep. Especially since the 2006 draft.

          • package206

            Do you really think the scouts and medical staff are more important than the manager??

          • DS1981

            Yes, generally, but especially for this dodger roster. You obviously disagree, so tell me why you think a manager is so important?

          • package206

            In my opinion the manager is the general. He decides who pitches when, when to send runners trying to steal, what substitutions to make and a whole host of other decisions. According to you, the medical staff is most important but there is not much they can do after a player is injured, right? The manager makes decisions that are happening at the crucial moments of a game, but we can agree to disagree.

          • rumped6

            I’m in the “managers are important” camp, bigtime, but I would have to answer that unanswerable question yes.

    • No one knows for sure and he could just be a scapegoat, but from what I know about bench coaches in general, they are important in providing a major assist in in-game strategy and decisionmaking, including (at times) defensive positioning, batter vs pitcher matchups and subbing. It’s all conjecture here but based on some of the decisionmaking in games we saw this season (whatever else was genuinely wonderful and separate from all the great stuff Donnie himself did in working with various personalities and through all the injuries) plus based on what I recall of Hillman as a manager himself, I can only say I don’t see how he’ll be missed much, at any rate.

    • rumped6

      I’m still asking that, Jon.

  36. DS1981

    In Allen Iverson’s voice during his “practice” rant. “We’re sitting here and
    we’re talking about a manager. I mean listen, we’re sitting here talking
    about a manager, not a player, not a player, not a player, but we’re talking
    about a manager. We’re talking about a manager man. How
    silly is that”

    Anyway this mattingly thing is such a bunch of empty noise. If this team is reasonably healthy next year they’ll be great, if not they won’t be. So who will be on the medical staff next year is much more important than who the manager is.

  37. NoahUCLA

    Lincecum got 2 years $35 million. I guess they think he will go back to being a number 2 starter, or else they majorly overpaid.

    • WBBsAs

      No. 4 is his ceiling. In rapid decline.

    • SaMoDodger

      His pitching definitely smelled like #2 over the past two years. If this precludes the Giants from spending money on a good pitcher, I’d say the Dodgers got a break.

  38. JonnyTAFKAJ

    As long as the focus is on the coaching staff…. the heat seems to be off of Ned.
    If anybody has a good answer for this, please…. I’d love to hear it.
    I don’t agree with every decision that Donny Ballgame made, but what the heck was any manager going to do about…..
    – Bills : zero service in 2013.
    – Lilly : essentially zero service in 2013.
    – Kemp, Ethier : lots and lots of missed time.
    – Grienke : missed over a month.
    – Beckett: missed 90% of season. (I’m not a fan of his anyways)
    – Chris Capuano: calf injury
    – Hanley Ramirez: we all know the story there…
    – AJ Ellis, Carl Crawford (hampstring), Adrian Gonzalez (neck)…
    Good Grief !
    Look for yourself:

    • Howard Fox

      I think there is a general feeling about Mattingly that feeds on itself. I think he does things that other managers may also do, but he has this reputation that magnifies these blunders. I think the whole Puig situation was thrust upon him, and he was not allowed to deal with it as a manager should (just my opinion), because Puig meant box office, even if things he did hurt the team.

      And yes, Ned is made of teflon, if there was a way to put it all on Magic, he would find it.

      • DS1981

        Oh the horror, Mattingly got a 5 WAR player thrust on him. BTW the very fact that we’re even having a conversation about Mattingly is because of Puig. If he didn’t come up when he did, Mattingly would be fired in june. The negative things Puig brings to this team are OVERWHELMED by the positives.

        • Howard Fox

          I was just giving my observation on how Mattingly is viewed.

          By the way, just because Puig is a spectacular talent, doesn’t mean he doesn’t need some instruction. It looked to me that some of the Dodger players were not entirely thrilled with some of the things he did on the field. But what do I know.

          • rumped6

            If he doesn’t change, he’ll wear that clubhouse out in a hurry.

        • rumped6

          Some of the time…..:-)

      • JonnyTAFKAJ

        Good points.

        Puig: Yes, a “Circus” …. (in every sense of the word, both on and off the field)

        Ned: I just don’t have much faith in his stewardship of the Minor League System
        and player development. And, I think that properly used, well-developed draft picks along with good young talent is the best currency with which to build your organization as great young talent = both, great trade bait and great depth.

        • JonnyTAFKAJ

          Cash only works some of the time.
          Sometimes, it takes a different currency to get a deal done….. young talent.

          • Bob_Hendley

            We just used cash to pick up some more young Cuban talent.

      • rumped6


    • Jack Dawkins

      I think that since Stan came onboard, he has a heavy hand in every personnel decision. He is happy to let Ned do the drudge work, answer the phones, talk to the press, put into place the directives Stan promulgates etc. Ned doesnt seem to mind accepting this role. I think as long as both are satisfied with this new dynamic it wont change.

  39. KT

    Chad Moriyama @ChadMoriyama
    Alexander Guerrero to the Dodgers now official, Peter Moylan DFA

  40. PismoBruce

    The first thing I noticed about the presser was how far apart they seemed to be sitting, with Kasten nowhere in sight. Tuned in to PTI today, Wilbon and Bob Ryan were talking about the same. Kasten loves a microphone. He said a lot by not saying anything.

    • 4d3fect

      Perhaps (!?) I’m deviant, but “Kasten loves a microphone” strikes me as Freudian, to say the least. Not that I disagree with your post in any of its particulars.

  41. Bumsrap


    • KT

      NO PUIG?

    • Bob_Hendley

      Oh, I see what you did there. A lot of faith in Joc, but not much in Puig?

      • dalegribel

        I think he packaged Puig and Crawford to Tampa for Longoria.

        • PismoBruce

          Tampa taking on contracts, rather than trading them. Unlikely.

          • Bumsrap

            Puig is cheaper than Longoria. If Crawford included so would be cash.

      • Bumsrap

        I have faith in both. Maybe Puig to Miami, Stanton to Tampa, Longoria to LA. Let the involved teams figure out who else should be included in trade.

    • DS1981

      C’mon man, Joc Pederson? Do people still believe in Logan White drafted hitters? His track record is pretty terrible in that area. Kemp turned out to be an exception rather than the rule.

    • NoahUCLA

      Back to reality: Crawford, Puig, Kemp/Hanley, Gonzo, Kemp/Hanley, Guerrero, Mark Ellis/Uribe, AJ. Ethier will get his chances as well. With Kemp an unknown, I just don’t see them trading one of the 4 outfielders. They might sign a different veteran for 2nd or 3rd, but I don’t think they will spend big on a free agent. If they do spend big, aside from Kershaw, it will be for a pitcher.

  42. Spence

    The Giants look like idiots for giving Lincecum 17.5 mils per season. Not sure what they are thinking.

    • PismoBruce

      They are thinking Zito’s contract is finally up and Vogelsong remembered he was Vogelsong.

    • WBBsAs

      Sabean kept bidding himself higher. Now they’ll do the same thing with Vogelsong; unfortunately, Yusmeiro Petit is only arbitration-eligible, so that’ll be a little harder for Sabean to match the other two.

      • rumped6

        Yeah, you have to feel sorry for Gs fans with that clueless FO crew:-).

    • ASW1

      PR move + Hometown bonus + paying for (long) past performance

    • NoahUCLA

      With Bumgarner and Cain already on board, I’m glad they did not use their money wisely and go out and get a real #2 starter to go with those other 2. I don’t think they could get Price for 17.5, but they could get much better than Lincecum. I think Colletti and Sabean had a deal that they would switch off screwing up so that they could trade off years of winning the division.

    • Howard Fox

      my gut says they were afraid the Dodgers would pick him up, and that would not have been good for their standing with their fans…regardless of cost

    • Timmy puts fannies in the seats, as Reggie Jackson once said of himself in New York.

    • Bumsrap

      Someone has to take the place of Zito.

  43. JonnyTAFKAJ

    Can anybody here make a compelling argument as to why Alex Guerrero will be any better than
    Wilton Guerrero?????? :-)

    • Bob_Hendley

      The test of time? Wilton was signed as an 18 year old and was AAAA until he was dealt at 26. Alex is 26 and the scouts like his wares. This is as compelling as I can get.

      • JonnyTAFKAJ

        That will do, Bob. :-)

      • rumped6

        Yikes! That’s some plateful of compelling, Bob.

        Maybe he went to Puig’s High school (well before Puig).

    • ASW1

      Many in baseball thought Puig and/or Ryu wouldn’t amount to a whole lot either – there’s really no way to tell how good Guerrero is going to perform until he gets some playing time.

      • rumped6

        Yup. From what I could read, I was skeptical of Puig.

        Thought Ryu might surprise, on the good side of the ledger.

    • Howard Fox

      well, he is 13 years younger, so he might have more range?
      for another, he will be a FOP in case Uribe is not brought back…(friend of puig)

  44. ASW1

    Another Cuban who will be interesting to follow will be 1st baseman Jose Abreu. The White Sox gave him a 6 yr / $68 mil deal. The Gnats were said to be one of the front runners to signing him before the White Sox signed him. If Abreu turns out to be a stud, we can all be happy the Gnats missed out on him. On the other hand, if Abreu turns into a huge bust, we can all rue the fact that the Gnats passed on him.

  45. ASW1

    Soooo – anyone else going to follow the WS? I’m an NL guy through and through, so I’ll be rooting for the Cards to send the beaneaters packing.

    Yes, they beat our beloved Bums, but I can’t help but respect the organization. Of the 25 players on the NLCS rosters, the Cards drafted 17 (Dodgers 5). Since their WS win in ’06, the Cards have not spent more than $26 mil on any FA from outside the organization (Dodgers just did that with Guerrero, Ryu, Puig,and Greinke).

    I’m not saying that the Dodgers have done it the *wrong* way – they had the resources and went for it and spent the money, I applaud the effort – just saying, the Cards have had some serious success with a much smaller budget – good for them.

    • ASW1

      BTW, came across this today – values of MLB teams per Bloomberg :

      Top 10 MLB Teams (Total Value):

      1 New York Yankees $3.3 Billion
      2 Los Angeles Dodgers $2.1 Billion
      3 Boston Red Sox $2.1 Billion
      4 New York Mets $2.1 Billion
      5 Chicago Cubs $1.3 Billion
      6 San Francisco Giants $1.2 Billion
      7 Baltimore Orioles $1.1 Billion
      8 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim $1.1 Billion
      9 Philadelphia Phillies $1 Billion
      10 Texas Rangers $1 Billion

      Bottom Six MLB Teams (Total Value):

      25 Miami Marlins $595 Million
      26 Oakland Athletics $590 Million
      27 Colorado Rockies $580 Million
      28 Cleveland Indians $575 Million
      29 Kansas City Royals $540 Million
      30 Tampa Bay Rays $530 Million

      So, obviously St. Loo somewhere between $596 mil and $999 mil.

      • NoahUCLA

        Should DS followers pitch in and buy the Rays or the Royals? We’d be an awesome ownership group!!

  46. SaMoDodger


    Wasn’t that Shirley Booth’s character’s name?
    Does this lend credence to rumors that they are trying to clean house after the loss to Cardinals?

  47. Open Thread, Game One, World Serious 2013.

  48. Casey Barker

    Is the ghost of Earl Weaver available?

  49. thescrounger

    Seems to me that the longer this no decision drags on, the less likely Mattingly is to come back. I think I’d be insulted but of course he has 1.4 million reasons to turn the other cheek…

    • John_from_Aus

      Thanks for that, I’ll watch in when I get home from work later today

  50. Bumsrap

    I could change who I will pull for several times during the Series but for now, I am still irked at the Cards for taking Rameriz out of the Series.

    • Howard Fox

      are you saying I am not the only one who thought that was deliberate?

      • WBBsAs

        Pitching inside perhaps was intentional, but it did not look like an attempt to injure him (which you can’t be sure of doing, anyway).

        • Howard Fox

          unless it’s Hanley we are talking about, then you CAN be sure of injuring him

      • Bumsrap

        I think the Cards game plan was to pitch inside to both Puig and Rameriz and were willing to hit both and let them take their base or walk if they refused to swing at balls.

        • Kelly had no control over his location in that first inning. When the pitch hit Ramirez, I wasn’t the least bit surprised and not because I thought it was intentional – he just seemed that off his game.

          • ASW1

            Yep – and I was happy to see him so out of control – and then Hanley ends up taking it in the ribs, Dodgers not able to take advantage of Kelly’s wildness, lose the game, and the rest is history.

          • Bumsrap

            I would prefer to to think as you but can’t accept that Kelly missed the strike zone by that much without trying to pitch inside to begin with. Regardless, it took the fun out of watching Rameriz play and changed the series.

  51. ASW1

    Huge break for the Cards there.

  52. SaMoDodger

    Guerrero’s signing probably means the end of Mark Ellis’s Dodger career. Or does it? Could he return to the team in the Adam Kennedy Aaron Miles Jamie Carroll Nick Punto Mark Loretta Skip Schumacher role that Ned seems to love so much? Not for $5.75 million, but some reduced amount? He hasn’t played much third base or shortstop, but he seems fundamentally sound in the field. Don’t know about his arm either. And as we saw against St. Louis, his speed sucks.

    • I think he could except for his seeming lack of versatility. At most he plays two positions, although I suppose he could fake it at shortstop in an emergency.

      I imagine the Dodgers would like to have a mentor for Guerrero.

      • John_from_Aus

        As limited as the players mentioned were, they were (mainly) as comfortable (or uncomfortable) at 3rd, short and second.
        Imagine where we would have been this year without Punto’s versatility at covering those 3 positions

      • Howard Fox

        Ned will find someone from outside the organization who will be the “one year” vet who will start the year at 2B until Guerrero is ready…he seems to do that annually

      • rumped6

        Isn’t that part of Yasiel’s job description?

        Mentor all new Dodgers?

    • WBBsAs

      Given that Guerrero’s an unknown quantity, they need to have a Plan B. I’m not sure who that might be, but Jon is correct that Mellis’s versatility is limited.

      • foul tip

        Given Punto’s versatility, he might be a better bet to re-sign–and add mentor to his job description. Also, think I’ve seen that Punto’s a plus defender at 3 positions. But his D unlikely to match Ellis.

        • WBBsAs

          Punto’s offense, though, is questionable even compared to Mellis’s, though he is more versatile defensively.

          • NoahUCLA

            With as often as Mattingly likes to give the players rest, and the need for Hanley to get rest, I don’t know if Ellis has to go. He can still get quite a bit of playing time. I guess if they think Dee has it in him, he would be the backup at second and short, but I’m not seeing any confidence in Dee, on D. I think they will keep one of the two of Uribe and Ellis, and it may just be a negotiating thing to see who they decide to keep. I don’t think they keep both. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them sign Michael Young either. We just have nobody really knocking on the door in the infield in the minors, which is a big problem.

          • WBBsAs

            Mellis is still good enough to start somewhere and, if I were he, I’d prefer to do that.

        • rumped6


          Cards demonstrated again last night that in short series, steady often trumps spectacular. (Wish sometimes steady, sometimes spectacular A-gon would have fielded and transferred Yasiel’s throw cleanly for a try at Beltran at second.
          Curious if game woulda been any different in character if he made the throw in time (though I thought the game essentially over after Carpenter’s amazing grind of an at-bat, with Clayton just a wee bit short when he most could not afford to be).

          Thought Ds got more from Mark this year, all venues, than I would have expected at my most glass half-full. Pleasure to watch him.

  53. Jack Dawkins

    Beltran out early with a rib injury. Irony dept.

  54. NoahUCLA

    Ken Gurnick is reporting that Mattingly is staying next year, but all Kasten seems to have said is that he had no doubt that Mattingly would honor his contract and return. Not glowing words of encouragement. I wonder what is going on behind the scenes between Kasten and Mattingly (or Kasten and Ned)? Weird for Kasten. He’s usually pretty good at this sort of management stuff.

    • Howard Fox

      I think Kasten is not used to being shown up in public. I think Mattingly starts the year as manager, he may even have a 2 year deal in hand, but his leash is shorter than last year, and if they have a bad start, he is toast.
      I would not be surprised to see perhaps Dusty Baker as his bench coach. Then they would have two replacement options during the year, Baker and Wallach, should the team start off going south.

      • ASW1

        There is no way Dusty is going to be anyone’s bench coach. He’ll get hired as a Manager or not at all.

        • PismoBruce

          Rumors about him and Detroit but I’m not buying it.

      • Bob_Hendley

        This would not be Dusty’s forte, so would be a major surprise to me.

  55. Howard Fox

    Just wondering, has Cano ever played 3B? I know he and Hanley are good friends…

    • foul tip

      Don’t know that. But Dodger-wise, Magic said recently the Dodgers wouldn’t be signing him.
      His contract and Kershaw’s are more than they want to bite off, no doubt.

      • Howard Fox

        unless he would take a shorter contract….there is something about adding a big bat to the lineup….

        • foul tip

          Why would Cano do that?

          • Howard Fox

            I am probably wrong, but it is possible that some players might want out of NY…

  56. Howard Fox

    Don’t think it made any difference in the long run, but if Mattingly’s option year vested with a series win over Atlanta, could that have had any bearing on bringing back Kershaw on short rest?

    • Bob_Hendley

      That was a decision by the organization (and the Kid) and not DM by his lonesome. In any event, I am sure that DM felt that he already deserved a multi-year contract at that point.

      • Howard Fox

        yes, I think he felt he deserved it at that point, however the option year did vest with winning that series….just sayin….

        • Bob_Hendley

          Sure, I am just sayin’ that its unlikely he thought “I need to get vested, so I am willing to risk the next series and perhaps Kershaw’s future by having him start on short rest””. I think he just wanted to win.

          • foul tip

            And if it worked, which it did, buy a bit of extra down time to try to get hurting players better. Pretty justifiable on that basis.

            Course, we’ll never know how much if any Clayton’s routine being disrupted might have affected his disastrous last performance. Don’t know how the team even could tell.

          • Howard Fox

            Kershaw has had a couple outings like this each year. Just one of those things. Unfortunately it was game 6 and not sometime in August.
            And you could kind of see the possibilities that it could happen, and Vinny would make mention how his “stuff” isnt fooling anyone, that they are fouling off pitches instead of missing them.

          • rumped6

            MAY have been just one of those outing, agreed.

            MAY have been the escalating pressure in the championship march.

            MAY have been the consequence of too much high-level effort, combined with a heavy dose of reg-season frames.

            MAY have been all of that.

            Just hope the kid stays sound, in spite of any of it.

          • Howard Fox

            I am ok if it was any of these…except the second one….

          • rumped6

            You’re right. No way to tell. But some of us offered that caution, and Clayton just didn’t have enough to win that duel with Carpenter.
            My major concern is what long-term, not-readily apparent damage the concentration of stresses will have on him.

  57. RBI

    Having major Dodger Thoughts withdrawal symptoms (as well as for Dodger games). I keep checking for new posts. Must. Stop.

  58. Sorry – taking a breather. I haven’t abandoned the site, though.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Take your time. Come back when you are ready, but we are only giving you a one year extension.

  59. ASW1

    Inquiring minds want to know – can the Cards infield play at a level above the Bad News Bears if the Red Sox pitcher is not allowed to have a foreign substance slathered in his glove?

  60. Open Thread, Game Two of the World Series.

  61. twaseverthus

    Found this rather touching: Yasiel Puig surprised the kids up at the NELA Little League fields in Elysian Park the other day… and then pitched to all of them. Pretty awesome.

  62. Spence

    Carlos Martinez has a Red Sox connection. They signed him for $140,000 under a different name. MLB investigated and voided the contract. Carlos had a 1yr suspension and the Cards end up signing him for 1.5 mils.

    Fascinating read. Wonder what the Red Sox think seeing the kid shut them down now in the World Series?

    • Bob_Hendley

      Aussie Shipley sighting. Hadn’t realized he ran Bosox international scouting.

    • ASW1

      Sure, a tough break for the Sox having the original signing voided, but they were foolish to allow their pride and bitterness overrule the fact that the kid was worth giving him more money to keep him in the fold – money that they could easily afford, no less.

  63. Jon_Wymore

    Wouldn’t mind seeing Loney finally win his gold glove in Tampa. I know it’s a flawed award but still always thought he deserved one at some point.

  64. PismoBruce

    So did I read correctly that the halos signing of Albert cost them the comp pick that the Cards used to draft Wacha? That’s gonna leave a mark.

  65. A.J. Ellis, Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Ellis, Juan Uribe and Zack Greinke are finalists for Gold Glove Awards.

    • Adam Luther

      Lot of kicking the ball around and bad throws thus far in the WS.

    • Jon_Wymore

      Hmm I just read the notice about this and this year they are including sabermetric defensive stats like DRS, UZR and I think UZR150 as 25% of the vote toward who wins.

    • foul tip

      Entire Dodger infield except Hanley, who’s far more valuable for things besides fielding.

      Even he’s improved, from everything I’ve seen.

  66. Bob_Hendley

    WaPo reporting that Williams in as manager of Nats.

    • WBBsAs

      So he’s now Natt Williams (as opposed to Gnatt Williams).

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