Tell me, whom exactly would the Los Angeles Dodgers hire as an immediate replacement for Don Mattingly? Phil Jackson? Sorry, there is no magic pill, no obvious internal or external choice to take over as Dodgers manager now, next week or even at mid-season. Which isn’t to say that Mattingly deserves greater job security. Legitimate questions persist about his game management and even his famously level-headed personality. Those questions ultimately could doom him, either during the season or at the end. Some scouts following the Dodgers wonder whether the team would benefit more from a take-charge type. And listening to the players, to a man, defend Mattingly, they sound almost too comfortable. Of course, such things are impossible to quantify, and rarely get discussed when teams are winning. But the Dodgers aren’t winning, and the season is nearly one-fourth complete, and Mattingly is in the final year of his contract. So here we go. But where? Mattingly’s coaching staff includes two failed managers, Trey Hillman and Davey Lopes, and one who lacks major-league experience, Tim Wallach. Tony La Russa keeps saying he will not manage again. Mike Scioscia remains employed by the Angels. As part-owner Magic Johnson might say in one of his tweets, if he was being honest and wanted to paraphrase Rick Pitino: Dodger Nation, Walter Alston isn’t walking through that door. What’s more, the Dodgers’ front office sure isn’t buying into any fire-the-manager talk, at least not yet. Club president Stan Kasten never has been a quick-trigger type. Injuries continue to deplete the roster (though sorry, the Yankees are ruining that excuse for everyone). Give Mattingly a healthy team, give him a better bullpen, and then we can judge — at least in a fair world.
No quick fixes for Mattingly, Dodgers
Fox Sports | May 14