It’s been quite the week for manager Don Mattingly, whose job was in jeopardy on Sunday, but with the Dodgers winning two of three from the Milwaukee Brewers, his job might be safe for the moment.
However, Mattingly’s comments before the the finale in Milwaukee were quite strong about the make-up of the team to and he spoke to Mark Saxson of ESPNLA.com:
“There has to be a mixture of competitiveness,” Mattingly said. “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.”
Wow. Mattingly hasn’t been shy with his assessment of the team since he’s been on the hot seat since earlier this week. In the finale against the Brewers, outfielder Andre Ethier sat in favor of Scott Van Slyke. While Van Slyke delivered with two hits and the Dodgers won 9-2, the comments didn’t sit too well with Ethier.
After the game, Ethier responded to Mattingly’s comments, which seemed to be directed at him via Bill Plunkett:
“It’s frustrating to hear that (from Mattingly) but if it’s something where he thinks I can make an adjustment I’ll definitely listen to it. “We’ve had a lot of adversities, a lot of tough things we’ve had to deal with already this year. We’ve had each other’s backs and haven’t pointed fingers. When things get tough, I think that’s even more important.”
Clearly Mattingly tried to light a fire under Ethier and other slumping stars, but it sounds like he was irked by the comments rather than taking them in stride.
The Dodgers start a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals tomorrow night and Mattingly won’t have the luxury of seeing his top-3 aces for the entire series.
While it isn’t known that his fate has already been sealed, Mattingly is clearly voicing all his frustrations before he might be looking for a new job.