The jury remains out on Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who is in the final year of his contract and still must prove that he can properly manage a bullpen. But Mattingly’s even demeanor is a strength, and the impact of his managing style on two former Red Sox, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and left fielder Carl Crawford, is palpable. Both Gonzalez and Crawford are off to strong starts in their first full seasons with the Dodgers. And both say Mattingly liberated them as hitters, helping them return to form. Gonzalez said he felt pressure to hit home runs in Boston. He averaged 34 in his final four seasons with the Padres, then hit 27 in his first year with the Red Sox and 15 last season before getting traded to the Dodgers on Aug. 25. Upon arriving, Gonzalez said that Mattingly told him, “I don’t care if you hit 10 home runs, just drive in runs.” Gonzalez thought, “perfect!” — and experienced instant relief. He believes that he fell into bad habits trying to meet others’ expectations and hit more home runs. Crawford’s story is a little different, but his willingness to hit leadoff — and his early success at it — is somewhat surprising to those who recall his resistance to hitting at the top of the order with the Rays. Of course, Crawford was so miserable in Boston, he likely was willing to try anything the Dodgers wanted. But like Gonzalez, he is grateful to Mattingly for allowing him to play to his own strengths. “They pretty much gave me the freedom to be myself and not really try to be like a traditional leadoff hitter that takes a bunch of pitches and tries to slap the ball,” Crawford told reporters over the weekend. “For me most part, I’m trying to hit the ball in the gap.”