While the Los Angeles Dodgers have been under a microscope for much of the season with plenty of attention given to their recent inconsistency at the plate, baseball headlines in Southern California were dominated the last few days by what transpired down Interstate 5.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim general manager Jerry Dipoto resigned due to a reported rift with manager Mike Scioscia. At the heart of the rift is believed to be a difference in philosophy — implementing analytics — which Dipoto favored more heavily than Scioscia.
The Dodgers have a similar forward-thinking front office with president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi leading the charge with a manager in Don Mattingly who is widely regarded as being more in line with traditional thinking. However, don’t expect the Dodgers to similarly come apart at the seams.
According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Mattingly said the open line of communication between he and the front office has been key to a harmonious relationship:
I’m not sure what their situation was over there (with the Angels),” Mattingly said. “But for me, it’s just a matter of being able to communicate with Andrew and Farhan (Zaidi). If we’re not doing something that they think is important, just talk about it. It doesn’t feel that complicated, to be honest with you.
Mattingly went on to credit both Friedman and Zaidi for being willing to discuss matters regardless of whether viewpoints are perfectly aligned:
That comes from the relationships – Andrew and Farhan have kind of always communicated from the very beginning so the conversations have been easy. It doesn’t mean they agree with everything or we agree with everything. But the communication has been really easy so the back and forth, to me, has been solid.”
Despite guiding the Dodgers to a second straight National League West division title in 2014, there were some that believed Mattingly would be ousted after the team fell short of reaching the World Series; technically taking a step back in getting eliminated in the NL Division Series after reaching the NL Championship Series in 2013.
Even once Joe Maddon abruptly left his post as manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, Friedman continuously backed Mattingly, stating he would return this season. Weathering several injuries, including losing Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu for the year, the Dodgers have spent the majority of the season in first place of their division.
They return to Dodger Stadium 45-35 to begin a 10-game homestand Friday that leads into the All-Stark break.