Mark Topkin, the Tampa Bay Times’ beat writer, has the story on the stunning departure of Joe Maddon today. Read it for yourself, but the possibility of Maddon managing the Dodgers only seems stronger by the end of the piece.
As we noted earlier, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said that Don Mattingly “will be our manager next season.” It was a statement Friedman had to make, if only to put Matingly at ease. But if Mattingly had a short leash for failure before Maddon opted out of his contract, where does that leave him now?
Moreover, what if something changes? Say Friedman (and/or the new general manager, whoever he is) decides he wants to fire Mattingly and hire Maddon. Can they possibly do so without giving the appearance of impropriety?
Former Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon worked with current Dodgers executives Andrew Friedman (left) and Gerry Hunsicker (center) in Tampa Bay. (Associated Press photo)
unexpectedly opted out of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday morning, raising speculation that new Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman would hire his former manager to replace Don Mattingly
in Los Angeles.
Not so, says Friedman.
“As I said last week, Joe and I enjoyed a tremendous relationship working together in Tampa Bay and I wish him nothing but the best wherever his next stop will be,” Friedman said in a statement released by the team. “However, nothing has changed on our end. Don Mattingly will be our manager next season and hopefully for a long time to come.”
The Dodgers will finalize their 2015 coaching staff in the coming days and weeks. (Getty Images)
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly addressed a number of topics in his season-ending media session Thursday. The big takeaway, as I explained in today’s editions: If the Dodgers didn’t beat themselves, and the manager only would’ve done one thing differently, then whoever assembled the team is primarily accountable for an early playoff exit.
That’s the manager’s opinion, and Don Mattingly doesn’t have the power to fire Ned Colletti.
But he did address Colletti’s status directly, and a few other things I wasn’t able to expand on in that piece:
Justin Turner (left) was given the start at second base Friday over Dee Gordon (right). (Associated Press photo)
SAN FRANCISCO >> Dee Gordon didn’t look like himself walking around the visitors’ clubhouse Friday. His head was mostly down, the hood on his sweatshirt mostly up.
Gordon wasn’t in the starting lineup for Friday’s game against Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner, which prompted a question about whether or not the Dodgers’ second baseman was healthy or not.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Gordon is fine health-wise; that’s not the problem.
“He was mad,” Mattingly said.
MLB executive and former Dodgers manager Joe Torre sent an email Tuesday clarifying how Rule 7.13 (restricting catchers from blocking home plate) would be applied.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has been an outspoken advocate for clarifying the controversial rule. Here’s what he had to say about the email today:
Dodgers center fielder Yasiel Puig sat out Saturday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks because of a stomach ailment. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Joc Pederson, rather than Andre Either, would replace Puig.
“More than anything Yasiel is not feeling good today,” Mattingly said, explaining Puig’s absence from the starting lineup. “He’s going to have an IV. There’s something going on with his stomach, so we’ll see how that goes.
“It’s opportunity for Joc to do his thing. We don’t want to force him into the lineup or anything else. But it’s an opportunity for him. I think he has a chance to help us. It’s a great experience for him, more than anything. Hopefully, he can help us win some games.”
Pederson went into Saturday’s game hitting .222 (2 for 9) in his first four games in the big leagues after a stellar season in the minor leagues.
Erisbel Arruebarrena was limited to pinch-running duties Wednesday because of a shoulder injury. (Getty Images)
In the 10th inning, when A.J. Ellis drew a one-out walk in a tie game, many of you chimed in on social media wondering why Don Mattingly didn’t pinch run for the slow-footed catcher.
Mattingly did use a pinch runner eventually, when the bases were loaded with one out. Erisbel Arruebarrena took Ellis’ place at third base, and barely had to move as Adrian Gonzalez and Juan Uribe struck out.
Andre Ethier and Don Mattingly were arguing in the Dodgers’ dugout about something in the eighth inning of the Dodgers’ 12-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday. Neither was forthcoming after the game about the incident. Ethier told reporters that the incident was “misinterpreted.”
Mattingly was more forthcoming about the incident Sunday, saying that Ethier didn’t want to come out of the game in the ninth inning. The manager won the argument in that sense.
Sunday, Mattingly said the two apologized to each other, first he to Ethier then Ethier to him.
“We’re good,” Mattingly said. “I think the greatest thing when you have guys like Andre, he can voice his opinion, I can voice mine, and the next day we’re adults.
“At the end of the day, we’re family.”
Matt Kemp wasn’t in the Dodgers’nstarting lineup for the fifth straight game Tuesday. (Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News)
Don Mattingly and Matt Kemp had diverging opinions Monday about Kemp’s health, and that storyline isn’t going to go away anytime soon.
However, the gap between the two might be eased if Kemp gets penciled in to the starting lineup. For the fifth straight day, that didn’t happen. Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig are manning the three outfield positions against the Cincinnati Reds.
Kemp said he took fly balls in left field Tuesday afternoon. When asked how long, he replied “doesn’t matter.” He wasn’t smiling.
Even the usually affable Mattingly got a bit testy when pressed about Kemp’s situation.