For a moment, let’s forget about how Don Mattingly’s players feel about him and ponder how he feels about them.

When the Dodgers left San Francisco early this month, having been swept in a bitter, hard fought series, Mattingly told reporters he felt better about his team walking out than he did walking in.

Two weeks later, here are some of the comments coming from Mattingly after another painful sweep in Atlanta, his bullpen blowing a lead in every game.

“Too many walks. Too many free runners. And we have to catch the baseball, that’s all there is to it,” Mattingly told reporters.

Mattingly also said he had an “issue” with a ball that dropped between Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp and said of Luis Cruz’s dropped line drive, “guys in the big leagues make that play all day long.”

When Dee Gordon got thrown out at third base the next night, Mattingly told’s Ken Gurnick: “Matt Kemp's at the plate. Come on, Dee, we've been there. There's no real upside to stealing the base.”

You get the sense he's beginning to wonder if he's got the right people in his corner in one of the toughest fights of his professional life.

The Dodgers players say it all the time: They like playing for Mattingly. If they are lying, they’d better be careful what they wish for. Teams that fire managers tend to bring in guys nothing like their predecessor. Otherwise, why bother? Mattingly’s a laid-back, communicative guy who can relate to everyday players, because he was one. He rarely criticizes players publicly. Whoever the opposite of that is, the Dodgers could get him.

It would be hard to argue that the Dodgers are doing a swell job of saving Mattingly’s job so far. Well-connected national baseball writers are speculating almost daily now that his job appears to be under imminent threat. The latest, from’s Ken Rosenthal, speculates that Mattingly could get fired as soon as Thursday, an off-day before the Dodgers open a seven-game stretch in Southern California.