Dodgers Need Accountability, Not Excuses


You know guys, I thought the Dodgers couldn’t get any lower when they lost that first game against the Marlins last week, and had dropped eight in a row. At that point things seemed at their bleakest, and a lot of people were saying that things couldn’t get any worse. Lesson learned, things can always get worse, and usually do.

After the Dodgers rebounded and took four of five, they took two in a row against the Marlins, who ironically are the only team in the National League right now with a worse record than the Dodgers. Then the Dodgers took two out of three from the Nationals, and everyone jumped back onto the happy bandwagon. The Dodgers were turning things around. There was hope again. The sunny optimists went back to pre-ordering their World Series tickets. That all came crashing down this past weekend in Atlanta, when the team was swept. The series featured the bullpen blowing all three games after the Dodgers had obtained late leads in every game. Doesn’t reality bite?

Will Don Mattingly still be the team’s manager when they return home?-Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Reality came crashing down upon us this weekend, as we saw what the Dodgers are really made of. Nothing. Zippo! Now the team is waiting to begin a three game series in Milwaukee against the Brewers, and things are starting to get testy all around.

There are rumors that manager Don Mattingly may not even make it through this series let alone the month. Ken Rosenthal wrote a piece last night speculating that Mattingly may be fired as soon as this series is over. Let the record show that Rosenthal is just making speculation and that I firmly believe that Mattingly will not be fired anytime soon, at least for now. That’s not to say that he shouldn’t be fired.

Speculation and rumors are flying all over the internet, and everyone has an opinion on this. The jig is up, and everyone is finally opening their eyes and seeing that the Dodgers desperately need a change at manager. Not because it would save the season, because let’s face it, this season is pretty much toast. For anything it should be for accountability. As Rosenthal points out in his piece, you can’t fire 25 players, and when a team plummets to last place with a 220 million dollar payroll and World Series expectations, the manager gets fired, that’s Baseball.

Still I wonder why some people just can’t see how much Don Mattingly has mismanaged this team into the ground. Everyone has an opinion on this, and the whole world knows at this point that Mattingly is a lame duck, managing on borrowed time.

Mike Petriello of MSTI, and Chad Moriyama have the same opinion that they always have. They of course defend Mattingly and his loser pedigree and take every opportunity to bash GM Ned Colletti. They defend Mattingly over and over again and place all the blame on Colletti. Not that I absolve Colletti of all blame, but the manager always has to shoulder the blame for his team’s play. This is the way it goes. As Rosenthal said, you can’t fire 25 players.

They take every chance to make excuses for Mattingly, citing the injuries, and underperformances, and making Mattingly out be some kind of poor martyr cursed with the roster of Ned Colletti. They forget to include that the team has zero fundamentals. Isn’t that the job of the manager to teach the fundamentals to his players? The narrative is getting old guys. Yeah sure, poor Donnie Baseball. Here is the smallest violin in the world playing a tune for him. He made his bed, and now he has to lie in it.

Even god father of Dodger Bloggers Jon Weisman weighs in with his opinion. He constantly makes excuses for the team’s lousy play. He tells his readers that the season is still young and there is still time to turn this around. he is confused. He doesn’t know whether they are playing to the top or the bottom. I think we all can say after watching this crappy team play that they only go one way, and that’s down to the basement. The team plays crappy Baseball, simple as that. Don’t make excuses Jon.

No more excuses. I am just sick of all the excuses made for this team. They suck, and no amount of optimism is going to change their last place 17-25 record. Only the Dodgers front office, the players, and Don Mattingly can change that.

Moriyama and Petriello both believe that managers have no say in how their team performs. They don’t pitch, or hit, or field, so according to them managers are useless. If this is the case, then why even have a manager? Why not let the players manage themselves? Oh wait, that’s already happening basically. If you remember this weekend in Atlanta, the players blatantly ignored Mattingly’s orders. Dee Gordon stole third base when he was ordered not to. Kenley Jansen threw an inside cut fastball to Evan Gattis instead of the slider ordered by his manager. I’ve already wondered if Mattingly had already lost control of his players on the field. All of that nonesense helped lead to three straight defeats.

This whole season has been a disaster from day one, because Don Mattingly has failed at his job of teaching the Dodgers Baseball fundamentals. The team has no fundamentals. None. And that is why they fail.

The Dodgers have one of the worst bullpens in all of Baseball. The Dodger relievers have blown 13 games, and have a 4.47 ERA, placing them 24 out of 30 teams. The Dodger defense ranks 27 in total defensive efficiency. The Dodgers are one of the worst base running teams in the league, and are batting .226 with runners in scoring position.

The Dodgers fail at every aspect of the game this season, and to not hold Don Mattingly accountable for his team’s poor play is delusional.

People ask but who replaced him then? That’s a good question, but it’s not all that important right now. More than likely if Mattingly is fired, the team will hire an interim manager to manage the team for the rest of the season. That guy may be gone after the season is over, or if he can turn the team around he may be given another chance. Whether that is Tim Wallach, or Davey Lopes doesn’t matter. Things have to change now. The Dodgers need some passion in the clubhouse. Like Rosenthal said, they need some new energy. Mattingly’s laid back approach doesn’t work with this club.

I’m not happy about this. We all wanted Mattingly to succeed. He’s a nice guy, and was a great player back in the day. But the team has gone nowhere under his management, and it’s time for a change before the team sinks any further into despair.  Just take a look at how other teams have responded positively by changes in management. Colorado, Cleveland are great examples of this. Not to say those teams are going to the World Series or anything, but the change in management has made them competitive, and that’s all I ask for this season.

It doesn’t matter who replaces Mattingly for the rest of the 2013 season. What’s more important is accountability. Not only do players need to have accountability, but managers as well. The new ownership needs to send a message to Dodger fans that they won’t sit by and let the team be managed into the ground. That there will be some accountability for this train wreck of a season. It’s all about accountability right now. Yes I think Colletti should be held accountable too, but keep in mind Colletti has had past success in building competitive teams. The Dodgers have made the playoffs three times under his tenure, including two division titles and two NLCS appearances. My point is, at least Colletti has had some success to fall back on. What success has Mattingly had? Last year’s 86 win season collapse?

The Dodgers suck this season and bringing in a new voice in the clubhouse is something that could very easily turn the season around. Let the record show, I don’t think that Mattingly will be fired anytime soon, but if the team is still buried in last place by July, you can kiss him goodbye.

It’s time for accountability, and change. Not for excuses.