Los Angeles Dodger manager has had a long season dealing with injuries, an overcrowded outfield, a struggling bullpen and a wide variety of egos.
With five capable outfielders and a top prospect, Mattingly has had to mix and match lineups, trying to appease each of his players. Once the season wore on, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford assumed the starting outfield roles, leaving Andre Ethier and Scott Van Slyke off the bench. While the complaints over the season have been minimal from the outfielders, there was issues when Kemp was moved from center field, Crawford was working back from injury and Joc Pederson waiting in Triple-A.
According to Pedro Moura of the OC Register, the 53-year-old manager discussed the handling of the team:
A lot of the things that happen behind closed doors, stuff that’s gone on, it’s just been tedious this year,” Mattingly said in his pregame media session. “It’s just part of the job. You’re trying to get the best out of this club. It’s not bad. I’m not saying it’s bad. It’s just part of a group of a lot of personalities and things like that.”
Just last week the Dodgers were in the news when Kemp and Puig had a small disagreement in the dugout in Colorado. Ethier has went from everyday player to pinch-hitter. In the bullpen, big names like Brian Wilson have struggled while younger players like Pedro Baez have flourished lately. Most players don’t want to move around in the bullpen, but Mattingly has had to do what’s best for the team.
Despite the tediousness, the Dodger manager is enjoying this season more than last season:
Last year was harder for me personally. This year has been a little different from the standpoint of, once we got back in the race, I always felt like it was going to be close with these guys the whole time.”
Mattingly has made it through the season without any major issues and his players have gone on record saying they are all in for a title, meaning that the team is ready to make some noise.