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Dodgers' Don Mattingly gets word he'll be back

Mattingly weighs using Zack Greinke on short rest but sticks with scheduled pitcher Nolasco. Greinke will start Game 5.

October 15, 2013|By Bill Shaikin and Dylan Hernandez
  • Manager Don Mattingly is expected to return to the Dodgers next season after helping guide the team to the playoffs after being in last place, according to people familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Manager Don Mattingly is expected to return to the Dodgers next season after… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

The Dodgers plan for Manager Don Mattingly to be their manager beyond this season, according to people familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Mattingly still isn't under contract for next season, as the Dodgers are waiting until the off-season to resolve the situation.

The guaranteed portion of Mattingly's contract expires at the end of this season. Mattingly's deal includes a team option for next season.

Mattingly, 52, has compiled a 260-225 record over three seasons. He reached the playoffs for the first time this season.

Before Mattingly became the Dodgers' manager in 2011, he was the team's hitting coach for three seasons.

Mattingly was in danger of losing his job early this season, when his team was in last place. He said he was warned by President Stan Kasten that the Dodgers could be forced to make a change if they didn't turn around their season.

Game 4 decision

The Dodgers stayed with their original plan to start Ricky Nolasco in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against St. Louis, deciding against pitching Zack Greinke on three days' rest.

Greinke will start Wednesday in Game 5, as previously scheduled.

Mattingly admitted he considered starting Greinke in Game 4 and Clayton Kershaw in Game 5, both on three days' rest.

“I just didn't feel good about it,” Mattingly said.

The reason Mattingly offered was that he didn't want Greinke to be compromised.

“I wanted Zack to be able to go out and compete,” he said. “I didn't want him to go out there and be like, ‘I can give you five innings.' I just want him to be able to go compete like a starting pitcher should and I didn't feel like he was going to be able to do that.”

Greinke threw 104 pitches in Game 1.

Mattingly said even if the Dodgers had lost Game 3 and were facing elimination Tuesday, Nolasco would have started Game 4. The manager said he made the decision in the middle of the game Monday night, before he knew the Dodgers wouldn't be playing an elimination game the next day.

Nolasco's turn in the division series was skipped, when Kershaw pitched in his place in the fourth and final game.

More on Mickey Mouse

The Cardinals shouldn't be bothered if the Dodgers celebrate a big play, Mattingly said.

Why? The Cardinals did some celebrating of their own in the first two games of the NLCS.

Cardinals players made critical comments about Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig's on-base antics Monday night.

“I had zero problems with Adrian's hit,” Mattingly said. “And Puig's kind of excited at third base. I also had zero problems the other day when [the Cardinals] got out of the bases-loaded jam and [catcher Yadier Molina] pumps his fist. To me, that's just baseball. Guys get excited.”

Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright said he saw Gonzalez “doing some Mickey Mouse stuff” when celebrating his run-scoring double. Wainwright also said Gonzalez later heckled him from third base. Gonzalez said he was only responding to third base coach Tim Wallach, who yelled that he should be ready to run in case Wainwright threw a wild pitch.

“Wally said, ‘Curveball in the dirt, make sure you go,'” Gonzalez said. “I said, ‘Curveball in the dirt, I go.'”

Short hops

A moment of silence was observed at Dodger Stadium for umpire Wally Bell, who died Monday.


Cardinals third baseman David Freese was back in the lineup after making a premature exit in Game 3 because of a tight calf. However, he was removed after hitting into a double play to end the top of the sixth inning.

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