Reports coming out of Los Angeles on Thursday confirm that Don Mattingly is still the manager of the Dodgers.
Despite the constant outcry that Mattingly be fired, this is the right decision.
Dodgers President Stan Kasten came out in support of Mattingly’s comments from Wednesday.
“I know what Don is trying to do, what his intention is,” he said. “It’s to light a fire, kick-start the team. He’s trying everything he can think of. We’re all behind him.”
Now, can we all lay off Don for a bit while he tries to manage his team into a winner?
Enough with the furious calls into the Dodger Talk post-game show with demands that he be let go and the constant #FireMattingly hashtags on Twitter.
At 19-26, the Dodgers are in last place. But they are just six games out of first place, and it is only May.
His team is obviously underperforming, but I am glad to see the team stick with Mattingly because too many factors holding back the Dodgers are out of his control.
Six starting pitchers on the disabled list before the end of May had the organization calling up young arms before they were ready. This put extra pressure and workload on the bullpen. Even the Dodgers’ most consistent relievers have faltered lately.
Hanley Ramirez’s injuries have sidelined him for all but four games this season and Mark Ellis was out for a while, too. Mattingly was left with holes to fill at second, short and third with the likes of Juan Uribe, Skip Schumaker, Justin Sellers and Dee Gordon to patch up the infield.
Go ahead, put together your best infield with those options and let’s see how many games that team wins.
That list does not even mention Luis Cruz. He is playing so terribly it is hard to believe he ever made it to the Major Leagues in 2012.
The biggest on-field problem facing the team has been the lack of production from Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. I fail to see how this is Mattingly’s fault, but think that sitting Ethier for Scott Van Slyke is a good start to resolving the issue.
Dodger fans have been so focused on the negatives with this club that they forget about the success the team has seen.
Clayton Kershaw is a sure Cy Young candidate and Zach Greinke has returned from injury to follow him up in the rotation.
Adrian Gonzalez is having a great season, Carl Crawford has exceeded expectations, and Nick Punto is playing the best ball of his career. Plus, all of them are outperforming their 2012 season in Boston.
Also, AJ Ellis is putting up even better numbers than in his breakout 2012 campaign. His 14 runners caught stealing leads the majors.
The Dodgers may be in last place with a 19-26 record, but if Stan Kasten and the rest of the organization have faith in Mattingly, then so should we.
It’s time for Dodger fans to calm down. Set aside the rage for a series or two, and let’s see if this team can string together some wins.