Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly called this season a ‘tedious’ one and suggested there were multiple issues dealt with outside of the public eye.
One situation — Matt Kemp yelling at Yasiel Puig in the dugout — was caught on camera and it sparked more talk of a dysfunctional set of teammates. Kemp, Puig, nor the Dodgers commented on the exchange and the team pushed ahead, culminating with clinching the NL West title with a win over the San Francisco Giants.
While not specifically stating the Dodgers haven’t had issues this season, Adrian Gonzalez said the roster is assembled with a right balance, according to ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon:
I’ve been on teams where every single guy gets along great, and when you get on the field, you don’t know how to win,” Adrian Gonzalez said. “We’ve got the right group of guys, we’ve got the right mix and we’re professional guys.”
Hanley Ramirez, who arguably has had one of the more frustrating seasons among Dodger players, said the team was united:
We’re one team. We love each other. We win together, we lose together.”
Carl Crawford dismissed the notion any team manages to get along the entire season without any bumps along the way due to the amount of time players spend together. Prior to reaching this point in the year, one of the more pressing issues was the saga that unfold when Matt Kemp was taken out of center field.
Kemp’s agent, Dave Stewart, who recently accepted the Arizona Diamondbacks general manager position, was open with his desire that Kemp be traded. That has since been resolved as Kemp settled into right field, but Crawford cementing himself in left field has diminished Andre Ethier’s role and caused some friction.
Along with acknowledging Ethier isn’t pleased with his role, Mattingly also added he’s remained a good teammate. The Dodgers were able to fight off enough distractions to again pull themselves out of a hole en route to winning the division and beginning Oct. 3, they’ll be just 11 wins away from a magical season.