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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Plaschke: Don Mattingly shows fire, but his flame is flickering with Dodgers

Don Mattingly is turning into the most hilarious cartoon character since Babe Ruth!

Meet Donnie Dark.

The Dodgers embattled manager returned home Friday night with a scowl the size of a block of empty seats in the reserved section. He conducted his pregame news conference with a tight jaw and a thin stare. For 30 surreal minutes, the nicest man at Chavez Ravine barked.

“It’s what I believe in the way the game of baseball should be played, the determination you’re supposed to play with, the grit you’re supposed to play with, the toughness you’re supposed to play with,” he said. “It’s about respect for the game, it’s respect to your teammates, it’s respect to the organization, to the fans.”

Mattingly hasn’t looked like this since his playing days. He hasn’t sounded like this since he became the Dodgers’ manager. The clubhouse behind him was somber. No more Donnie Softball.

“Some of them may like me, some of them may not like me, some of them may think I am full of crap,” Mattingly said of his players. “I don’t care. I really don’t. I just basically speak from my heart.”

His aura having been stripped by his inability to fix this mess, his smile having disappeared this week when at least one website had him fired, Mattingly’s heart is about all he has left. If he’s going down, he’s clearly going down swinging.

Swinging and, um, missing. Later Friday night, the Dodgers were engulfed in more misery when they were pounded by the St. Louis Cardinals, 7-0, in front of a booing crowd in a Dodger Stadium that couldn’t even sell out for Friday night fireworks.

It’s bad here. It’s getting worse here. Stan Kasten, the Dodgers’ president, said before the game that he is still supporting Mattingly, but at the same time, owner Magic Johnson was declining an interview request, and by the seventh inning, both men had departed the owner’s box.

Repoz Posted: May 25, 2013 at 06:29 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers

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   1. Bote Man Posted: May 25, 2013 at 09:05 AM (#4451929)
Stan Kasten has practice with struggling baseball franchises. See Washington Nationals, 2006-2010, the uh...un-glory years.

Maybe what the Dodgers need is the best brisket in the city?! Stan can handle that.
   2. Tripon Posted: May 25, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4451960)
If you're making a Donnie Darko reference, don't you have to type out the full name?

And the Dodgers need to fire Ned Colletti.
   3. Dale Sams Posted: May 25, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4451964)
I feel for the Punto Trade guys. "Hey! We're producing. It's like a curse is following us!"
   4. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: May 25, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4451965)
He knows he's in Los Angeles, right?
   5. spike Posted: May 25, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4451987)
I get that there really is nothing to say to a debacle, but the whole "respect" thing sort of sets my teeth on edge. It just feels like buck-passing instead of management.

//Maybe what the Dodgers need is the best brisket in the city

Don''t know about that, but Johnnie's Pastrami in Culver City is chock full of awesome.
   6. GregQ Posted: May 25, 2013 at 01:42 PM (#4452006)
I lkie that management is following that Great Dodger tradition of leaving early.
   7. gehrig97 Posted: May 25, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4452013)

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