It may seem premature to say that Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is on the cusp of being fired, but reports late last night suggested the 1984 batting champion might have managed his last game Sunday afternoon.
The Dodgers had a terrible weekend in Atlanta, holding leads in all three games while seeing the bullpen blow each game. While the Braves swept the Dodgers, they only led for six innings the entire series.
Bill Shaikin of the LA Times spoke to a Dodgers official who weighed in on the idea that Mattingly’s firing is imminent:
“The Dodgers have “no plans” to fire Manager Don Mattingly when the team returns home Thursday or any time before then, a club official said late Sunday night.”
It doesn’t sound like a vote of confidence, just a firm rebuttal to the report from last night. Regardless, it seems like it’s inevitable that Mattingly will be the fall guy as the Dodgers have severely underwhelmed.
Injuries and a lack of production from Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier haven’t helped either, but at this point, change might be the best thing for the team. While they’re 17-25, they find themselves seven games back of first place with 120 games left to play.
However, could the team fire someone else to spark the team? Shaikin speculates of who could be fired instead of Mattingly:
“There has been some thought about whether the Dodgers should dismiss Trey Hillman, the bench coach picked by Mattingly.”
I’m not sure what firing Hillman would do, but if the Dodgers don’t win the series in Milwaukee, change will be on the horizon. Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke will start in Milwaukee and might be able to buy Mattingly some more time.
Regardless, the Dodgers struggles have taken the baseball world by storm and if things don’t get any better, expect Stan Kasten and company to not wait any longer.