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Don Mattingly on Dodgers: ‘Basically, we’re sh***y’

Don-Mattingly-DodgersThe Los Angeles Dodgers have picked a terrible time to start losing games. They have lost six of their last eight and are falling further behind the red-hot San Francisco Giants by the day. The Dodgers lost two out of three at home against the Chicago White Sox in their most recent series, scoring just seven runs in the three games. Don Mattingly has little explanation.

“Basically, we’re sh—y ,” Mattingly said Wednesday night, via Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times. “We’re just not that good.”

LA has a record of 13-19 at Dodger Stadium, which is particularly alarming.

“Home, away, whatever,” Mattingly added. “I don’t know what that has to do with it.”

The Dodgers started off slow in 2013 and ended up dominating the second half of the season. According to Mattingly, that team played as a collective group, not a collection of individuals. After telling reporters they should talk to the players because he is tired of answering the same questions, Mattingly quoted Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda.

“Tommy says it all the time, and it seems corny at times, but he says, ‘We all have to get on one end of the rope,’” Mattingly said. “When that group gets going in one direction and that focus is purely to win a game no matter who gets the attention or who gets this or who gets that, I think it’s always better.

“… We haven’t felt that as a team, and I think it’s the one area that we’re missing. To be absolutely honest with you, I think that’s the one thing we’re missing at this point, a collective group fighting and pulling in one direction trying to win a game, without any concept of this guy or that guy or this guy.”

The problems Mattingly insists the Dodgers are having sound a lot like the same ones the Boston Red Sox had before they traded Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to LA a couple of years ago. Mattingly seems to be growing tired of dealing with big personalities like Yasiel Puig and the rest of his $240 million payroll. You almost get the feeling he wont be in LA long regardless of how his team performs.

Andre Ethier, Don Mattingly brush off ‘heated dugout argument’

Don-Mattingly-DodgersLos Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier got into what has been termed a “heated dugout argument” with manager Don Mattingly on Saturday. The incident occurred during the eighth inning of a 12-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates when Ethier and Mattingly were spotted on camera shouting at each other. According to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times, it was a lot of fuss about nothing.

Ethier was back in the lineup on Sunday, with Mattingly describing the argument as a matter of two family members expressing their opinions.

“The greatest thing is when you have guys like Andre, he can voice his opinion, I can voice mine and the next day we’re both adults and talking and no problems,” Mattingly explained. “It’s really, in a sense, family. You’re able to argue at home back and forth but at the end of the day, you love your kids. … You discuss something or it gets a little heated at that moment, at the end of the day we’re family.”

Ethier also downplayed the incident after Saturday’s game and chose not to provide details of what sparked the disagreement. Mattingly claimed the 32-year-old veteran was upset about being removed from the game, even though his team was up 10 runs.

“He was mad,” he said. “He wanted to stay in the game. It was simple as that.”

It should be noted that the Dodgers are juggling four outfielders who are probably capable of being starters in Ethier, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford. That could be causing some friction, though Crawford is currently injured and has missed the last five games.

Mattingly is an old school manager, which is precisely why Puig got under his skin with some of his antics during spring training. Dust-ups are bound to happen with a hard-nosed manager.

H/T Hardball Talk

Don Mattingly already frustrated with Yasiel Puig?

Yasiel PuigYasiel Puig seems like one of the more difficult personalities in baseball to manage. The Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder has tremendous athletic ability, but his attitude rubs plenty of people the wrong way. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly might be one of those people.

Puig has battled some nagging injuries during LA’s season-opening series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia. He left Sunday’s 7-5 win in the ninth inning with an apparent back injury. Mattingly seemed annoyed.

“Shoulder yesterday, back today, so I’m not sure if they’re going to get him tests or get him to the MRI Monday or a bone scan on Tuesday, maybe,” Mattingly told reporters sarcastically, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Marx Saxon. “I’m not quite sure what we’ll do. We may not do anything. I’m not sure.”

Prior to the game, Mattingly joked that Puig is like the boy who cries wolf because he grabs a different body part every time he swings and misses. Puig also had two baserunning mistakes on Sunday, which weren’t the first two of his career.

Puig did not have a good offseason. He was arrested for reckless driving and supposedly packed on a significant amount of weight. Last year he was snippy with reporters at times and showed up late to the ballpark, though the team fluffed his childish behavior off.

Maybe he’ll grow out of it. Puig is only 23, so he could mature as his career moves on. As long as he continues to produce at a high level, his behavior will probably be excused. If he doesn’t, Mattingly and others will become even more annoyed.

Don Mattingly wonders if Cardinals were stealing signs in NLCS

Don-Mattingly-DodgersThe St. Louis Cardinals made relatively easy work of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS this year, winning the series in six games and finishing the job with a 9-0 thumping in Game 6. Traditionalists would argue that the Cardinals were simply the better team. However, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has wondered if St. Louis gained an advantage with its knack for stealing signs.

At the MLB winter meetings on Wednesday, Mattingly said his team was well aware of the Cardinals’ reputation for stealing signs when they began the NLCS. While he said he does not believe St. Louis won the series because of sign stealing, he did admit that the Dodgers complained about where Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo was standing at certain times.

“We felt like we had to be sure we kept an eye on their first-base coach and their third-base coach,” Mattingly said, via Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. “They’re the ones with the easiest way to steal signs. Josie’s a guy, at third, who’s always looking for my signs from our dugout.”

Mattingly said he had someone else besides himself relay signs from the dugout during the series to try to stop Oquendo from stealing them. There has also been speculation that the Cardinals mastered the art of relaying signs to hitters when they had a man on second base. They hit .190 in the NLCS with no runners on base and .259 with runners in scoring position. As Saxon pointed out, St. Louis hit .236 with nobody on and .330 with runners in scoring position during the regular season.

“If you think a guy’s looking from second base, then you have to have a combination of signs,” Mattingly said. “If you think guys are cheating from first base, then you have to have multiple signs even with a guy on first. It’s your job to make sure they can’t do it.”

Mattingly reiterated that he was not using the prospect of sign stealing as an excuse, but he could have just as easily refused to discuss it. Stealing signs has been part of the game for years. The best teams can adapt accordingly.

Yasiel Puig benched for not sliding, loafing in outfield (Video)

Yasiel Puig has been an outstanding player for the Los Angeles Dodgers since being called up in June, but he has also been immature and committed many small mistakes. His teammates have called him out for his poor fundamentals, such as not hitting the cutoff man on throws or making baserunning mistakes. On Wednesday, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly decided he’d had enough of Puig’s immaturity and benched the talented 22-year-old.

Mattingly pulled Puig before the fifth inning and would not explain why after the game, only saying that he felt Skip Schumaker gave the team a better chance of winning at the time, which is as comical of an explanation as it sounds. But it doesn’t take much to figure out what Puig did to set off Mattingly.

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Don Mattingly praised by son Preston for throwing down Alan Trammell

Don Preston MattinglyThe Los Angeles Dodgers players likely appreciated manager Don Mattingly standing up for them during the benches-clearing brawl with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night, but nobody enjoyed Mattingly’s actions more than his son, Preston.

Preston Mattingly, who was a first-round pick of the Dodgers in 2006, tweeted on Tuesday that watching his dad throw down Diamondbacks coach Alan Trammell “like a rag doll” got him all hyped. His tweet linked to a GIF of the throw down as seen below.

Here are a few photos of Mattingly rag-dolling Trammell:

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Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire own D-Backs coaches during crazy brawl (Video)

Six people were ejected from Tuesday’s Los Angeles Dodgers-Arizona Diamondbacks game after the teams got into a massive brawl following three batters getting hit.

Things began in the bottom of the sixth inning when Arizona pitcher Ian Kennedy hit Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig on a 1-2 fastball with the D-backs up 2-0. Puig was checked out by the trainers for a few minutes and remained in the game.

In the top of the seventh, Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke got revenge by hitting D-backs catcher Miguel Montero to start the inning. After that point, you figure everything was settled. But it wasn’t — Kennedy then dosed Greinke in the head in the bottom of the seventh, leading to the benches clearing. After that point, there were a solid two and a half minutes of fighting that featured some amazing moments.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly took down Arizona coach Alan Trammell; Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire raged on D-backs coach Matt Williams; and Dodgers relief pitcher J.P. Howell nearly tossed D-backs coach Turner Ward over the top rope.

After it was all done, Mark McGwire, Yasiel Puig, Ronald Belisario, Ian Kennedy, Turner Ward and Kirk Gibson were all ejected from the game.

Here are some images and GIFs capturing the wildest moments of the fight.

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