Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly raised some eyebrows when he used an expletive to describe his team’s play following another loss on a 10-game homestand.
Adrian Goznalez, Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez would later agree with their manager’s assessment, but there was some dissension among the three as to the well-being of the overall focus.
Prior to Sunday’s series finale with the Colorado Rockies, Mattingly discussed the team’s struggles this season and assumed responsibility, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
I definitely don’t want to separate myself. The manager, at the end of the day, the wins and losses goes on the pitcher and manager’s record. Guys need to be accountable, but it falls back on me. That’s OK.
However, Mattingly also added the Dodgers will go as far as the players can carry them, with the manager having little impact:
There are a lot of quality guys in there, capable guys, and we’ll go as far as they take us. The manager and coaches really don’t have control. It’s the players’ game, I’ve always believed that, and we’ll go as far as they take us.”
Entering Sunday, the Dodgers were one game above .500, which is indicative of their play this season. They have been unable to win more than three consecutive games and have twice dropped three in a row. Two of the Dodgers most consistent performers, Dee Gordon and Yasiel Puig, left Saturday’s game with hip injuries and the hope is both will return soon.
While Mattingly’s comments were the first time this season he’s publicly lashed out to that extreme, it’s not his first time doing so as Dodgers manager. Last year, with the team hampered by similar poor play, Mattingly called the team out and said they needed “grinders.”
Ramirez and Yasiel Puig eventually helped spark a 42-8 run that led to an NL West title and trip to the NLCS. Puig has done his part this season, only to be letdown by the inconsistency of his teammates.
The Dodgers have proven before they are capable of pulling themselves out of a hole and will need to do so again or wholesale changes could follow.
Dodgers Update: Mattingly Uses Expletive When Assessing Team’s Play