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Will a more focused Dodgers team emerge from week's aftermath?

May 24, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Andre Ethier will more than likely return to the Dodgers lineup.
Andre Ethier will more than likely return to the Dodgers lineup. (Morry Gash / Associated…)

All calm now? Everybody’s exhaled, visualized tranquil waters, got all comfy in their half-lotus position?

Seems the media-inspired frenzy over Don Mattingly’s future as the Dodgers manager has abated for the moment. Anyway, let’s hope.

After a well-timed off-day that did not include his firing, the Dodgers return to play Friday, which at this point could almost serve as a pleasant diversion.

Andre Ethier will also likely return to the lineup, and much to the chagrin of some, Mattingly to the bench, where if nothing else he seems slightly more their leader than a week ago.

Of course, in the interim there was that nasty sweep in Atlanta that begot rampant media speculation that the end was near, at least for Mattingly. And speculation was all it was, not one report even attempting to name a Dodgers source as its inspiration.

So perhaps the Dodgers return more focused than at any time this season, which would be the good news. The bad would be, they return to face the National League-leading St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend and then the suddenly hot Angels for four games.

The expectation all along has been the Dodgers are quite capable of competing with anyone this season, which led to the anguished cries over the team’s frustrating start.

But as T.J. Simers wrote, cooler heads have prevailed within the organization, which is a good thing. There was one report that said the more assertive Mattingly came with General Manager Ned Colletti’s blessings.

If nothing else, everyone’s ears have now perked up, and presumably, particularly those of the players. How it all plays out remains to be seen, but given how the team had been playing, hard to imagine it will hurt.

One more bad losing streak and the speculation will no doubt begin anew. Maybe next time, Mattingly doesn’t survive. For now, though, cross those legs, make your little humming sound, and be calm.

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