Just in front of Wednesday's matinee series finale with the Brewers, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register brought us these comments from the soon-to-be-former Dodger manager.
"Must-read strong comments from #Dodgers mgr Don Mattingly pregame seemed to point finger at not only lack of "mental toughness" from his players but also at poor construction of the team. We gotta find a team with talent that will fight and compete like a club that doesn't have that talent,' he said, pointing to last year's team which led the NL West by 5 1/2 games at the end of May despite a far less-talented lineup.
I felt we got more out of our ability (last year). I don't know about being tougher but I felt we got more out of our ability.
There has to be a mixture of competitiveness. It's not 'Let's put an All-Star team together and the All-Star team wins.' It's finding that balance of a team that has a little bit of grit and will fight you. And also having talent to go with it.
All grit and no talent isn't going to make you successful. But all talent and not grit isn't going to get you there either.'"Wow. Someone should check on Ned Colletti after that shot.
Those aren't the words of a manager who's in sync with his boss. There is an obvious disconnect between the two. The thing is, it didn't seem to be that way before this year. Could it be the pressure and under-performance of the team? Absolutely. But that doesn't excuse either from blame.
At this rate, both Mattingly and Colletti need to go. The Dodgers need a fresh start.
Here's my plan:
- Fire Mattingly and Colletti
- Promote Logan White to general manager
- Hire Brad Ausmus away from the Padres to manage
Normally, firing ones GM two weeks before the draft isn't advisable, but White runs the Dodgers' draft anyway, He, DeJon Watson and Vance Lovelace will be able to handle things just fine. Unfortunately, the ownership group would never turn over control of its $250 million team to an unproven, first-year manager. Look for Tony LaRussa's phone to be ringing in the next few days.
Yes, this team has suffered a myriad of injuries, but that's no excuse for the severe disconnect between Mattingly and Colletti.
Case in point: Mattingly wanted to keep Tim Federowicz as the team's backup catcher. Colletti, for some reason, has opted to keep Ramon Hernandez. It simply doesn't make sense. And this is minor compared to other things.
The fact is, this team is 18-26, in last place in the National League West and isn't going anywhere while there's so much uncertainty and, seemingly, strife.
The Dodgers are a few comments and roster moves away from becoming a full-fledged circus. And not the good kind of circus (if there is such a thing).
Photo credit: BryanKemp, Flickr