Don Mattingly's Dodgers have started the season with a record of 13-20. (Reed Saxon / Associated…)
Don Mattingly knows he’s been a hot topic in recent days. A pair of stories in the Los Angeles Times (by Bill Shaikin and Bill Plaschke), in ESPN.com and multiple blogs, all wondering whether the slumping Dodgers would be better served by a new manager.
“I know everybody was writing about it,” Mattingly said.
People have told him about the stories. Mattingly said he has not, however, read any of it. Not that he didn’t predict in the off-season whispers would start during the team’s first serious losing streak.
“See, I’m clairvoyant,” he said, smiling. “We haven’t seen this before in baseball, have we?”
Yet even his clairvoyance did not expect it to hit with such force in the first 33 games of the season.
“Well, I didn’t expect us to lose seven in a row, and six in a row at different times,” he said. “I’ll say that.”
Mattingly seemed very relaxed Friday discussing the questions emerging over his leadership, and, at least from the outside, not particularly concerned. Mattingly said he has not sought any reassuring conversations with General Manager Ned Colletti or team president Stan Kasten to discuss his situation.
“Nah, I don’t need one,” he said. “I really don’t. I’m fine. I don’t have the energy to worry about that. I need all my energy to keep working on this club. And that’s really the way I look at it. You have to keep working, figure out a way to get this thing going the right direction.
“You have to be a leader at this time. I can’t worry about me. I have to worry about these guys and this club and this organization, trying to get where we want to go. That’s really my job.”
Mattingly said he even received a phone message from Joe Torre, giving him a little pep talk.
And passed on his curse?
Since that time Torre, Major League Baseball’s vice president of baseball operations, has had his hands full with umpire controversies.