Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Don Mattingly must know he's getting fired

Many observers would probably nominate the Los Angeles Dodgers as the most disappointing team in baseball to date.

There is no arguing the Dodgers are getting a horrible return on their investment. Their payroll is $217 million. Meanwhile, coming into Wednesday's action they were 5-18 in May and 18-26 overall. Only the New York Mets and the woeful Miami Marlins had worse records among National League teams.

The more I think about it, though, we shouldn't be surprised the Dodgers are struggling. They have a bunch of guys who are former All-Stars, sure, but those same All-Stars were all traded to Los Angeles for a reason. Namely, they were overpaid malcontents that other teams wanted gone.

The Boston Red Sox (27-19) are a better team and probably a happier clubhouse now that Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett are the Dodgers' problems. The Marlins may stink, but at least they don't have to put up with the lazy, half-ass play of Hanley Ramirez anymore.

Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly is in the final year of his contract, and most people believe he'll be taking the fall for the underachievement of this overpaid roster soon.

Mattingly must know it, too, because he let his players have it Wednesday.

"We got to find a team with talent that will fight and compete like a club that doesn't have talent,'' Mattingly told the Orange County Register. "I felt we got more out of our ability [last season]. I don't know about being tougher, but I felt we got more out of our ability.''

Mattingly did not directly criticize Dodgers management, but he did make comments that seem to be an indictment of the way the roster was put together.

"There has to be a mixture of competitiveness,'' Mattingly said. "It's not, "Let's put an All-Star team together and the All-Star team wins.' It's finding that balance of a team that has a little bit of grit and will fight you. And also having the talent to go with it. All grit and no talent isn't going to make you successful. But all talent and no grit isn't going to get you there either.''

Indeed, real baseball is not fantasy baseball. The Dodgers are finding that out the hard way this season. 

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