Categorized | Mark Timmons

Mattingly never understood when to bunt

Many Dodger fans have criticized Don Mattngly’s game management and certain decisions, such as bunting in situations where he should be swinging away.  Donnie is a great clubhouse guy.  Donnie is a very nice man, but Donnie is “Strategy Challenged.”

Right about now, Don Mattingly should be bunting, not swinging for the fences.  Before the start of the season, the Dodgers were not willing to offer a long-term contract to Mattingly.  Evidently, they weren’t convinced that he was “the guy” to manage the Dodgers.  He came “that close” to losing his job in June before that phenomenon that is Yasiel Puig resurrected the moribund Dodgers.  It wasn’t brilliant strategy that got the Dodgers to the NLCS – it was Puig, Ramirez and an abundance of talent.

Let’s consider the facts:

  • The Dodgers have the highest payroll in baseball;
  • The Dodgers arguably have the best talent in baseball;
  • The Dodgers have more money than anyone in baseball;
  • The Dodgers don’t have enough confidence in Donnie Ballgame to give him a multi-year deal; and
  • The Dodgers have already relieved his bench coach of his duties (“Dumb and Dumber“).

If he doesn’t know when to bunt by now, he’ll never learn.  The Dodgers need a better game manager.  Mattingly have overplayed his hand.  The decision should have already been made.

Stop all this nonsense now.  Move on, Ned!

Walk the Plank, Donnie.

Headline:  “Tim Wallach named Dodger Manager”

Jody Reed for bench coach?


About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

104 Responses to “Mattingly never understood when to bunt”

  1. Michael says:

    Don’t bite the hand that feeds you AKA Jim Riggleman moment.
    I think I’d prefer Jody for the new managers vacated 3rd base role. Need a geezer who has seen that, done that for the bench coach role. Maybe that’s where LaRussa fits in the puzzle[not my choice].

  2. RogerCraig says:

    LaRussa won’t be a bench coach. That I am sure of.

  3. Idaho al says:

    I am starting to agree with you Mark. If management is not going to give Mattingly a multi-year contract, then they just need to cut him loose. He was on the last year of his contract last year, and if they only offer him a one year contract next year, that is not good for the team. This is telling everyone that they do not have confidence in Mattingly. This is not good for the team.

    I am not sure about Colletti either. I am worried about Kershaw. He turned down a 300 million offer. The only thing good about this is that nobody can afford him at that price except the Dodgers. I just do not think Colletti has a 10 year plan on how the Dodgers should be run and do it the Dodger way. I saw three relief pitchers in the St. Louis bullpen stretching and all three were doing exactly the same stretching exercises together. This is a small item, but it shows what St Louis is asking all their pitchers to do when stretching.

  4. Badger says:

    Kershaw turned down $300 million? Where’s the link?

    I think I agree with most of what Mark just said. There are times a guy should bunt, but it’s my opinion pitchers should sacrifice. Everybody else should know how to hit and run. Can you imagine what Mickey Mantle’s average would have been had teams put that ridiculous shift on him? If they give you an empty left side – take it. I know I would. Just lay something down that direction and you get a single. I don’t care who you are, Big Papi, they give you a base, you must take it.

    Donnie had me shaking my head that day I was at Chase and he didn’t have anyone warming up in the bullpen in the 9th. Dodgers lost on a bleeder to the right side, but, come on, have relief ready. And never believe what a starting pitcher tells you that late in the game. There were times I thought he was getting better, then he puts Uribe in the hole 0-2 with two bunt attempts. Players today don’t know how to bunt like players of yesterday. And speaking of that, how come at this point in his career Dee Gordon can’t drag a bunt for a hit?

    Consider the facts:

    1. true. So what? We’ve been over this many times.

    2. true. And too bad three of our best weren’t 100% for that Cardinal series.

    3. again true. That is what makes 1. true

    4. true

    5. true

    OK, decision should be easy. We need a new manager. Will that manager be able to handle $200+ million worth of egos? Can that manager teach all 25 guys how to bunt? Hit and run? Back up bases from the outfield? Move runners? Hit the cut-off? Swing at strikes dammit?

    Sure why not? Shiny new manager. Stop this media circus and do something. Brooklyn mentioned yesterday that no announcement can be made until after the Series. Is that true?

  5. Badger says:

    Lincecum given $35 million for two years after two years of 68 and 76 ERA+. Wow. Methinks the midgets did the West a favor. There is a lot of wear on that 170 pound body. He will be 30. Sure hope he continues pitching at a 4.74 ERA rate. Maybe he can up that to 5.00 the next two years.

    Tanaka looking better and better. But I would still look at signing Nolasco. He pitched well for us with 1.195 WHIP, he can eat close to 200 innings, and win more than he loses. Not bad out of the 4-5 hole. He will be 31. Guess it depends on what he wants.

  6. MJRod55 says:

    Let me be the devil’s advocate by saying I kinda agree with Bill Plaschke’ article on finding “middle ground” between the Dodgers and Mattingly (wow did I just say I agree with Plaschke?). Donny B did a great job handling the egos and keeping the team together during that roller coaster ride of a season. His players love him, from the bench players to stars on the team, especially the vets. That’s the good. He’s terrible at in game decisions, and he rides his favorites too much. That’s the bad.

    What if the management found him a bench coach that could allow him to be the manager he is in the clubhouse, and give him a kick in the butt when he’s being stupid with in game decisions? I’m thinking like Tex Winters was for Phil Jackson. Tex was a great strategist, but didn’t have the personality to manage NBA players like Phil did but Tex had Jackson’s ear when it came to play calling and game management.

    I don’t know who this person is, but this would be the best fix for all involved. Management has their “guy” helping Donny be smarter, and Donny can do his thing in keeping the team a team.

  7. Badger says:

    “What if management found him” -

    not exactly a great way to start that conversation.

    It would appear that management just stepped on his head. Now THEY will find him a bench coach? That position is a one that the manager must choose, or have a say in. If management chooses a guy that Donnie isn’t behind 100% it will only make the situation worse. These two parties have to come together on this, and soon, or just admit it’s time to blow it up.

  8. Idaho al says:

    I agree with you Badger. Either sign Mattingly to a multi-year contract or fire him. If they hire him, let him pick his bench coach with approval from management. It is time to fish or cut bait. Yes, it is an unwritten rule to not do anything until the World Series is over. They no not want teams to steal the head lines from the World Series. Most teams abide by the unwritten rule.

    • Badger says:

      I say ef that unwritten rule. It’s time to fix this. And fixing it would good for all of baseball.

      The series hasn’t started yet. Do it today.

  9. Idaho al says:

    Badger, I am home sick and have been on the internet and ESPN. I saw it some place, but now do not remember where that Kershaw turned down 300 million.

  10. MJRod55 says:

    I didn’t say donny was Phil Jackson, I said a good bench coach could help and that Mattingly has a good relationship with his players and brings them together as a team.

    Idaho al; I believe it was Gammons who reported it.

  11. Badger says:

    If Kershaw turned down a Dodger offer….. what does he have in mind?

    I still haven’t seen it.

  12. Quasimodo says:

    Badger, Kershaw said he wasn’t sure he wanted to commit himself for a 10 year obligation. With that I’d guess he would take less for less of a time commitment. But only a guess.

  13. Badger says:

    $30 mil a year guaranteed and he’s concerned about a commttment? That doesnt make sense. Perhaps he sees himself in Texas at some point.

  14. Bball says:

    I think the article said it was a lifetime contract whatever that means and that a big portion of the 300 million would go to a charity of kershaws choice. Why he would turn that down. Who knows. But I think I also read that he cut off talks because someone from the dodgers leaked info on it and he didn’t like that

  15. Bobby says:

    Buster Olney is on ESPN 710 right now.

    He says Kershaw didn’t quite turn down the extension; he more deferred the discussion to after the season was over. He wanted to focus on the season.

    I’m sure once we figure this manager thing out, Kersh is next.

  16. Adam says:

    Hi guys; long time, first time. I think one must always have another candidate lined up if you dismiss DM. Brad Ausmus is intriguing; smart(Ivy Leaguer), engaging personality, former Dodger, former catcher. Any thoughts?

  17. Badger says:

    Ok, that makes more sense.

    Ausmus. Great idea. I wonder what Mattingly would think about it.

  18. Mark_Timmons says:

    I have suggested Ausmus in the past.

    Done deal!

    Book him, Dano!

    • DRomo says:

      And let the Whining about “no managing experience start over again?” No thanks.

      You guys are better than that. Think harder.

      Donnie stays.

  19. jerry says:

    mark .i think we hit into more dp..then we ever bunted..

  20. DRomo says:

    Calm down everyone. Donnie “Intends to honor his contract and come back in 2014″ He will be back and deserves it. He also deserved to speak his mind. Let’s be honest. it is his right and if Stan and Co don’t like it, let him go. He will land another job before the winter meetings! He deserves at least a 2-3 yr deal. He has earned it. He kept the ship afloat through the McCourt debacle when everyone else jumped ship. Besides, lets be honest here at 1.5 million a season if he gets fired the Dodgers couldn’t eat that cost? C’mon Stan do right by the guy!!

    Managing comes with second guessing Donnie was not horrible and is a good leader for this group. He needs an enforcer as a bench coach. I still say Tony Pena is the best fit. He is a no non sense guy and managed the DR in the WBC last season and helped change Hanleys attitude. He understands Latin/Carribean baseball culture and would be a great mentor to Puig.

    As for Kershaw’s $300 million contract. CALM DOWN people. A majority of that will be going to Kershaws Charity that builds orphanages and cares for kids in Africa. That is Clayton and his wife’s passion. Good for them. The donation to the Charity will be built into the deal. It will easily be a huge tax write off (as if the Dodgers need to save money right now) but most importnatly it will not prevent the Dodgers from doing other business going forward.

    But again the headline will be $300 million to Kershaw!!!! The truth is it is a partnership.

  21. Mark_Timmons says:


    Yeah, managers who are actually smart and have no experience never work out.


    If a guy needs an enforcer or a strategist and is \”not horrible\” that is OK?

    It\’s not the money. He\’s not the guy! I have no clue why it is taking so long….

  22. Reggie says:

    The Dodgers won in spite of Mattingly!

  23. Badger says:

    A “majority” of that will be going to a charity? I doubt it.

    I think Wallach should be the bench coach and give Donnie another year. Walt Alston managed on one year contracts his whole career. In fact – give them all one year. I worked my whole life and never got anything guaranteed.

    Back to reality. Whatever it is, just get it done!

  24. DodgerDude says:

    Matheny = Ausmus!

  25. Bobby says:

    Not sure why you guy even care who’s our manager next year, or what Kershaw will make, when this blockbuster news came down the wire:

    The Dodgers acquired outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker and some cash from Boston for Alex Castellanos.

  26. Quasimodo says:

    There is a chance that bringing in a new manager could disrupt what everybody is calling ‘chemistry’. It could possibly turn players into simply high priced contracts. Its possible that I’m wrong but I think Mattingly is considered a friend to these guys. Its kind of amazing that managers’s rewards are so little when compared to many players. If Ned sees Donnie less important than League then I’d say Coletti views the Dodgers through the wrong lens. It wasn’t Mattingly who sunk the ship – the ship wasn’t sunk. I’m leaning towards Donnie sticking to Dodgers. I’ve grown used to cheering for him.

  27. jerry says:

    i agree with reggie

  28. Quasimodo says:

    How is it that Boston is so proud of that idiotic wall in left field? If they were to build a new stadium they’d likely plan that ‘green monster’ in it. Reminds me of a miniature golf coarse.

  29. Badger says:

    I never heard of Covidien. I have now.

    Furcal for Hazelbaker? I think maybe we should have done better.

    Does not appear management is handling this well. Neither is Mattingly. Get a room people. This is embarrassing.

    I can’t stand either of these teams. There is an infomercial for Clark’s footwear on now. Maybe I’ll watch it.

  30. Oops says:

    If only Mattingly had thought to challenge the call on the play at the plate in game one, 10th inning, where MEllis was called out because the throw beat him and Molina held onto the ball upon the collision, like Boston’s manager challenged the call at second in the first inning of this game… OOPS. Time for a new manager.

    Can’t help but think that if we had a smarter manager, we’d be in the World Series THIS year! Fire his a$$!!!!!!!!

    BTW Badger, et al, even these broadcasters said that they’d never seen such a call at second overturned BUT that they got it right in doing so.

    Time to stop living in the past and get the call right. Time for instant replay. Time for a manager who manages the game, not just the players.

  31. Badger says:

    Sorry Oops, I was watching a fascinating study of the KPg extinction asteroid at Chicxulub.

    What happened at second base?

  32. Oops says:

    I’m not much into this series either, Badger. Reading a book about curriculum design, a chapter about general Ed v. Special Ed. but at a fairly deep level. Been a Special Ed. Teacher for a couple of decades but back in grad school for another masters – educational leadership.

    Anyhow, you can catch it on ESPN of course.

    • Badger says:

      I was an Adaptive PE Curriculum Development Specialist until California lost its mind and passed Prop 13. I was one of the many casualties. California Education never really recovered from that bonehead move.

      Am reading Outliers now. Really couldn’t care less about this series. Baseball season is over for me. I’ll read the box scores the next day.

      Good luck with that Masters. Mine did me little good.

  33. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “Brooklyn mentioned yesterday that no announcement can be made until after the Series. Is that true?” – Badger

    This is not an unwritten rule as suggested above. It’s mandated by MLB, as Plaschke noted in his article yesterday about the middle ground. He said, “Both of these things should happen during the calm of baseball’s World Series-mandated news embargo”.

    I don’t think Donnie is coming back to take lessons from an experienced bench coach. I think he already indicated that the Dodgers should have made up their minds if he can manage. And I also don’t think that Kasten, who is the guy who will be calling the shots on this one, wants to gamble a year or two extension in the hopes that Mattingly will work out. Mattingly vested, so he’s going to be paid next year, I believe $1.4 million. We all know that’s an insignificant amount of money for the Dodgers to eat. My guess is that Mattingly will be gone soon after the World Series, and that Guggs will use this as an opportunity to put their own guy in place. Whatever happens, I can’t see the Dodgers allowing this to fester any further. And were it not for the news embargo, I’m guessing that we may have seen a decision this week.

    I don’t know if the Dodgers will be bidding for a free agent outfielder. It they do, it’s got to be coupled with a trade of one or two of their outfielders. I like Choo, but I also believe that Jacoby Ellsbury may be available. He’d be more expensive, but would likely be the better choice. He doesn’t get on base quite as much as Choo, but he did have 52 stolen bases, and is by far the better defensive CF.

    I can’t wait for the WS to be over. Let’s get the offseason started.

  34. Oops says:

    Yeah Brooklyn, I agree. I think Mattingly is gone. As I said above, it’s time for a manager who manages the game, not just the players.

  35. Jimbo says:

    One question I have about Wallach is – he’s been on the staff so wouldn’t he have had a chance to influence Mattingly’s decisions (the bunting, etc..) already? Would making him the bench coach change that? I honestly don’t know. If we go the new manager route I do like the idea of Ausmus, but the other guy that comes to mind is Dave Martinez, Tampa Bay’s bench coach.

  36. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I’m not inclined to hope for any particular person to be manager. Most of what we know about the names being mentioned is what we’ve read. And who knows how accurate that stuff is? I like Ausmus, I like Wallach, etc., etc., etc. But we really don’t know what kind of manager any of them would be until we see them in action over a period of time. All we do know is what we have in Mattingly. A solid character manager, who while not dumb, is by no means a rocket scientist. I don’t know how smart Wallach is, but from what I’ve heard, Ausmus is a really smart guy. And brains don’t hurt. But by no means does intelligence guarantee success.

    Right now I just know what we have, and would like something better. But just changing doesn’t mean we get something better. But I’m hopeful. For now, however, I want this managerial nonsense resolved, and I want to see this team bolstered at several positions this winter.

  37. dpwtv says:

    Mattingly will be back as manager for 2014…. I’m going to assume they’ll work out a long term deal pretty soon. I want Manny Acta as bench coach

  38. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Just read this at MSTI.

    I feel like Mike Petriello, who said, “So until we have a more solid answer, I consider this matter open… and frustrating.”

    And this from Steve Dilbeck.,0,891102.story?track=rss#axzz2iBOqQwrT

    Maybe Mattingly is trying to force the Dodgers to fire him, in which case he gets paid next year. If he quits, he doesn’t. Somehow, I don’t see how Kasten would be comfortable having Mattingly around for a year given the fact that the latter already made it clear that he doesn’t want to be a lame duck again. And that’s in spite of the fact that Kasten reportedly said he absolutely always thought that [that Mattingly would be back].

    I don’t watch soap operas, but I feel like I’m watching one now. Maybe we could call this one “As Mattingly Turns [in the wind].”

  39. Bball says:

    This might sound dumb but why in the hell do you even need a bench coach. What are his duties?

  40. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Couldn’t sleep, so here I am at about 3.00 a.m. typing this. Looks like Mattingly will be back according to various published reports.

    Okay, back to bed.

  41. Badger says:

    I’m up at 3:45.

    Mattingly is ok by me. I would just like the circus to fold its tent.
    And I hope the Skip has learned a few lessons on the whole bunting thing.

  42. Mark_Timmons says:

    He\’s still swinging for the fences right now – he should be bunting!

  43. Mark_Timmons says:

    But, according to his agent, he has now decided to bunt.

  44. Badger says:

    He has a contract. He, like everyone in that business, wants a huge pile of guaranteed money. Don’t we all. Just win and you will have job security.

    I don’t think he handled this very well. A grown man stomping his feet in public is rather unsightly. The Dodgers were within their rights. His contract vested. He made a bunch of managerial miscues during the year. Learn your trade, do a better job next year and we will talk about an extension. I have no problem with that.

  45. Badger says:

    Saw the highlights. Lowlights really.

    Wainwright sucked. And that was the best defense in the National League?

    Beltran with bruised ribs? Could be worse. Karma? If Drysdale had been pitching it would have been worse.

    Saw the play at second base. The most surprising thing to me is that they got it right.

  46. Matt says:

    Cant stand Boston and cant stand the Boston media. I’ve chose to boycott. Wont watch a single pitch. Just a shame that game 5 is scheduled opposite a MNF game for the Rams….thanks MLB….

  47. Gonzo says:

    I think it’s too late for DM and Kasten to be in the same building. He called out THE BOSS. Now man pundits are saying good for DM to make a stand, but he did it against the guy that controls his future. I was on the fence about DM but came to the decision that he has to go. Players are going to play and a manager will always be the hero or the scapegoat. Someone mentioned the Jim Riggleman strategy a few years ago. How did that work out the following year?

    If it was up to me I’d be looking for a guy like Charlie Manuel. Not Charlie himself, but a guy that will let the players be and have the balls to get in their face when they screw up. Remember when Rollins was coming off his MVP season and failed to run to first on an infield pop up? His ass was benched for the rest of the game. If the Dodgers want to help Puig mature this is the type of manager the team will need. I hear about Manny Acta and Tony Pena but know little of their managerial styles.

    Kasten came out and said he expected DM to comeback all along, but that sounds like lip service to me. If DM doesn’t come back I won’t be surprised.

    • Badger says:

      All of that makes sense to me Gonzo.

      It’s in limbo until after the series. I really don’t care. For me it’s always about the players on the field. If you have the 25 best players, the manager won’t matter. Even if he does something dumb like have Uribe bunt, Uribe should be able to get it down, putting a guy in scoring position then the next guy, if he is a good clutch player, drives him in. If the dumb manager takes Gonzalez out for a base stealer, then the base stealer steals the base and the next guy drives him in. The best players, over the course of a long season, could make ME look good.

      Maybe a guy like Tony Pena is exactly what our team needs. Looks like we will be very active on the international market, an international manager might be a good idea. I really don’t know. At this point, I really don’t care. Just continue to sign the best player available and it’s all good.

  48. DRomo says:


    How good did Matheny look last year about this time after not righting the ship and coughing up a 3-1 series lead to the Giants? Mike Matheny took over a club that had just won the World Series twice in a matter of 4 years and had been there twice within 6 yrs, so let’s calm down on his BRILLIANCE. The guy was born on 3B and acts like he hit a triple.

    This is all over reaction. Calm down. Sure Donnie could have done things better. But Donnie did somethings great, like keeping the clubhouse together. That is under apprieciated here I guess. Donnie (himself) was supposed to hit better with runners in scoring position right? What’s the in game management there? Do we put the runners in motion then? Hell no. Wake up guys. When this team struggled early in the season we were bad with runners in scoring position. When Hanley came back and the team went on their run, we were great.

    Shockingly when Hanley got hurt game 1, we couldn’t get clutch hits again. But that was Donnie’s fault?

    Calm down people. Donnie will be back. The whiners will whine. The know it alls will still know it all, and the manufactuered phony outrage will continue. But that is the world we live in now isn’t it?

  49. DRomo says:

    Who is Betting me Donnie gets his extention as soon as the WS is over? Any takers?

  50. DRomo says:

    Donnie will also be top 2 in Manager of the year votes. Clint Hurdle will probably be #1. Any takers?

  51. William says:

    Apparently Mattingly is going to be back. And he may get his extension. This is not good news for Dodger fans. Mattingly is a dreadful game manager. He takes most of the fun out of watching a regular season Dodger game, because you know that he going to make all sorts of mistakes, and the question will be whether the Dodgers can win, anyway. They have enough talent to do so much of the time. The typical Dodger win is when they hit well, get out in front. Mattingly doesn’t have to make any decisions then, except to put in his closer. Anyone can manage those kinds of games.

    Let’s look at some of the things Mattingly consistently does wrong, to the point that it is just utterly frustrating.

    1 His lineups are often ridiculous. The season before last, he kept putting his second baseman, whoever it was, second in the order, like it was some kind of rule. This year, he batted Puig first until people got hurt. You do not waste Puig in the leadoff spot, you put him somewhere where he can drive in runs. Mattingly laughably thinks that he should bat first because he is fast, but then never puts any running plays on for him or Craawford. Look for Puig to be back batting first or second. Soon Puig will figure out that his RBI totals and even batting average suffer from batting first, and he will ultimately go somewhere else where he can hit fourth and drive in 120 runs. Oh, and he batted the obviously injured and no longer good player Ethier fifth in most of the SL series, where he just made out after out.

    2. Double switches. Mattingly has no idea what he is doing with these. He does it every time he takes out a pitcher. The only reason to ever double switch is either in the middle of hte game where you just want your reliever to bat a time or two to save the bullpoen, or very late, when you are out of relievers. Otherwise, a double switch takes out a regular, sticks a reserve in his spot, and takes away your pinch hitting choices, because the reserve is locked in the lineup. But Mattingly does it over and over and over again.

    3. Bunting with no one and a man on second. This is an awful strategy, particularly when you are behind a run. First, the bunt may fail; you may actually get your runner doubled up or thrown out at third, destroying your chances. Even if it works, what do you get? You wasted a precious out just to move a guy from second to third. Outs are precious. You do not waste them to do just that. Lasorda used to do this; it is really bad strategy. Mattingly of course did it with Uribe and got very lucky and saved his job, unfortunately, though of course it was a great win for the team.

    4. Mattingly never used Jansen in game 1 until it was virtually too late. This is because he thinks that you are not supposed to use your closer on the road unless it is a save situation. That might be somewhat true in the regular season, where you want to save the close for the games where he can lock down a win. But in the playoffs? Of course you use him, since every game is worth about ten times as much as a regular season game. But Mattingly used Bellisario, then Wilson, then Howell, then Withrow, to start two innings, and no Jansen. Astoounding. And then he finally stuck hin in with two on and Beltran getting to hit lefthanded. But the good news is that since Jansen only pitched to one batter there, and only one inning in game 5, he will be well rested for spring training. Mattingly should have been fired just for not using his best relief pitcher to stretch out game 1, which to me was the series.

    5. Mattingly will not put runners in motion. He has an apparent fear that his runners will be thrown out. So instead he keeps them moored, and we hit into conventional double plays. Every manager sends runners at times on hit and run, run and hit. You put runners in motion to force action, to get the other team’s infield to move, and perhaps create holes. Not Mattingly. He just moves them station to station. He doesn’t need a bench coach, he doesn’t even need to watch the game. Crawford has never been thrown out on a steal attempt in the playoffs, and yet Mattingly did not send him one time, except the amazingly anomalous one-time hit and run play he tried in the twelvth inning of game 1. After that he took off the hit and run, and had Ellis try to bunt three straight times, so the Cards could walk Ramirez and fill the open base. Never does Mattingly try to get runneres on first and third with no one out, by playing hit and run. It is hilarious that Mattingly, interviewed, talked about managing in that series as a “cat and mouse game,” since he never reacted to any pitch counts, never put on a play. So I don’t know if he considered himself the cat, the mouse, or maybe an animal in hibernation.

    6. Mattingly cannot think ahead in a game. Baseball is not as complicaed as chess, but it still requires some ability to think ahead. Mattingly apparently has none. He will bunt and get his best hitter walked, taken out of the game in that sense. He will put relievers in without analyzing who is coming up for the other team, and thus will actually lock himself into non-ideal matchups. He had Rodriguez intentionally walk his first batter in game 2 in Atlanta, thus making it harder to throw strikes when trying; all he had to do was to have the other reliever do the intentional walk before leaving, as most smart managers do. He double switches himself into having no bench at the end of games; and having his reserves compromise the order by being in the wrong batting spots. His choice of pinch hitters is not creative or situation-specific; he batted Michael Young in every important spot, regardless of the fact he never got a hit. He puts Dee Gordon in to run, and then does not put a play on; says “Yasiel hit early in the count,” when it was pitch three, and Gordon still hadn’t gone; how many pitches was Puig supposed to take? Frankly, Mattingly appears to have no conception of how games play out, or what his opponent is going to do.

    I could even go on, but I won’t. Thinking of Mattingly back next year and maybe more, ineptly and ponderously managing games, is a depressing thought. He is a nice guy; he does seem to handle the clubhouse well; but I imagine that the next time we face St. Louis or even Pittsburgh or Atlanta in the playoffs, we will lose again, because Mattingly will be outmanaaged. I would have fired him when I had the chance.

  52. Bobby says:

    Romo, excellent point about Matheny’s team choking last year.

    I also feel Donnie gets a 2-3 year extension, but with a more senior guy as his top assistant.

    Hopefully the club lets him know what they didn’t like about game management, and they come to an understanding. I understand he was learning as well, and I also understand that a lot of his key players were injured during the StL series.

    I have no problem giving him another year to grow. It’s funny how everybody wants a consistent top notch organization from top down (like the Cards), yet want to fire people every 5 minutes and THEN set up the long term consistent organization.

  53. Bobbie17 says:

    I can’t see bringing Mattingly back for 1 year. An extension must be on the table. He doesn’t deserve one, based on 2+ years of less than mediocrity. The problem is no one better is available. If someone ownership wanted was available, he would be gone in a heart beat. The extension will be for as long as that someone is under contract now with some other team. The Cardinals are too perfect for my taste. They are the Great Leslie of the National League (he is a character in the movie “The Great Race.”) Too many unwritten rules for them to be enforcers of. Easy not to like. Especially after losing to them. Go Red Sox.

  54. Gonzo says:

    Another year to grow? Really? DM is going to continue to manage like he’s always done. He was a stud player and MLBers respect that. However, from a strategic point of view, he should already know how to manage because Torre had been grooming him for a long time. The problem is that Torre was a terrible manager but a good communicator. The NYY won in spite of him. A monkey could have managed those Yankee teams and still would have won the WS. As a fan, I really don’t care if DM comes back or not the Dodgers will be successful either way.

  55. Quasimodo says:

    I was looking at Tanaka’s windup at MSTI and it appears to me that a jackrabbit would have a fairly easy time stealing bases on him. But damn his stuff really looks wicked.

  56. Badger says:

    Steal Francona.

    I think Gonzo’s point about Torre grooming is a good one. I was assuming Donnie recognized his bungling but – maybe not. Maybe given all the situations William referenced he does the same stupid stuff.

  57. Gonzo says:

    Badger, Francona was available but the Dodgers remained status quo. I think Maddon would flourish even more in LA. But that is a pipe dream. Someone mentioned about continuity and how some are quick to ask for DM’s head, well I think if Kasten gets his guy in there that’s when the continuity will begin.

    DM will be ok because this miraculous run the Dodgers just had not only saved his career, but showed other executives how well he handled adversity. I still think he should be replaced.

    • Badger says:

      Yeah, I agree about Maddon, but I wonder if his magic only works with younger players. I think Girardi might be a good fit too. There are others, and who knows what Kasten is thinking.

      I never really liked Torre, and his overusing Broxton in that series against the Yankees just sealed it for me. I think Wallach could step right in and get the job done.

      And again, I don’t really care. If Mattingly and/or Kasten aren’t happy, then for heaven’s sake just end it. I really doubt any Dodger fans care all that much. What I care about is how it’s making all them look – rather silly. The Dodger organization just doesn’t need this kind of show going on.

  58. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Just looked at that Tanaka posting on MSTI. Stuff certainly looks good, but I’m also reminded that videos like that show only the good stuff. I have to see an actual game before I start making judgments. Any player can be made to look good in highlights.

    Since there are probably going to be other well-heeled suitors in on this one, I’m wondering if it won’t take a really large posting fee to secure his negotiating rights. And if the Dodgers are really hot after him, I wonder if maybe they just use the same strategy they used when they purchased the team, and make a really outlandish posting bid to blow the competition out of the water. But if this guy is really as good as advertised we would have a really nice front four. If everyone remained healthy there would be all kinds of flexibility in choosing #5. In that situation a rookie might fit in nicely. And then the Dodgers could make a decision as to where Billingsley fits in when he returns later in the season.

    As for Mattingly, I’ll just wait and see. I’m not upset that he’s returning, and for now really don’t know what the Dodgers thinking is on whether or not to extend him beyond 2014.

  59. Gonzo says:

    BD, Tanaka just went 21 or 24-0 in the Japanese league this year. This kid is the real deal. Not only can he throw it but he seems to have great control. There is talk that it’ll take about 60+mill to talk to him and another 50-60 mill to sign him.

    Badger I’m with you. A pissing contest between the manager and the team president isn’t what you want your fans to be focusing on after such a remarkable season. I too believe that most fans don’t really care if DM comes back or not. If he does, I hope he picks a bench coach that will not be a yes man. Also, I think that Wallach could take over and not miss a beat. He was a stud too and would have that MLB player cred everyone thinks is important.

    • Badger says:

      AND, he has been around this organization and knows all the players. As long as they are ok with him, and I have no reason to suspect they don’t, Wallach makes sense.

      I have always felt Torre and Mattingly were Gnu Yourk guys. Mattingly especially. I was rather disappointed when Girardi got re-upped. I kinda figured those folks would welcome Mattingly. Maybe they watched his style and figured otherwise. I would still welcome a sign and trade of managers with that organization. Don’t know if that ever happens, but, if not, let’s make history.

  60. Badger says:

    I just read somewhere they are considering capping the posting figure. That would allow most of the money to go to the player, and luxury tax issues would come into play.

    And if that’s the case, I think there will be the usual suspects bidding on this. Red Sox, Rangers, Dodgers and Yankees, with the Yankees and Dodgers having the inside track because of what their media markets can bring to the table.

  61. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I read that too Badger. Don’t remember all the details, except that the posting fee doesn’t count against the luxury tax. If the Yankees are serious about staying under $189 million, then that works for us. There was also some stuff about the rules changing so that the three highest posters get to compete against each other for Tanaka’s services. Also, if the Dodgers are truly not going to be in the Cano sweepstakes, I wonder if it’s a conscious decision based on their desire to commit the bulk of their winter resources to Tanaka.

  62. Badger says:

    Yeah, that’s how I read it too Brooklyn.

    If all the Dodgers do is Guerrero and Tanaka – that’s a lot. Get Kemp back, hopefully Beckett can anchor the #5, Bills come back, Dominguez, Urias, maybe move Ethier, maybe not, figure out third base – we still win the West. And who knows who becomes available during the year. I like our chances.

  63. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger, Urias is only 17 years old. In fact he was on a strict innings limit and probably pitch limit this past year. I don’t think we see him in LA for several years.

    Actually I was a little in error above. The posting fee not counting towards the luxury tax is good for the Yankees (and us too). However, even if they don’t get that part counted against them, signing Tanaka wouldn’t be cheap. Also, if the Dodgers don’t make a run at Cano, I expect that the Yankees will re-sign him, which will add a bunch of dollars to their payroll. But I guess the Yankees are still going to be serious about Tanaka, since I think, like us, they have some serious dollars coming off their payroll this year. Guess it could all depend on how serious they are about staying under $189 million. Probably not all that much.

    Maybe Mattingly won’t come back. Guess we’ll know that soon after the World Series, unless Mattingly or his agent put out a statement stating that he’s not coming back. The Dodgers, of course, cannot do that until after the Series.

  64. Badger says:

    You’re right about Urias. Not sure why I mentioned him in reference to next year. Personally I think he and Dominguez are the best arms in our system.

    It’s the luxury tax issue that will add money to the cost. There are only a few teams that don’t care about that. You can bet, with their need for pitching, the Yankees will want to win this bid.

  65. Yo! Adrian says:

    Zach Lee, Chris Reed, Jose Dominguez and Chris Anderson are the pitchers who can contribute next year from the farm.
    Javy Guerra, Scott Elbert are old ones.

  66. Badger says:

    Zach Lee is two months younger than Michael Wacha.

    I know those are the names Yo, but, honestly, I don’t see any of them helping next year. Reed maybe. Anderson is a big strong guy, but he is already 22 and pitches for Great Lakes. Javy Guerra is going to be 27 this month. And Scott Elbert – we all have been waiting a long time for him. None of those guys show up on Top Prospect lists. Some could surprise, but, that’s what it would be – a surprise. I doubt the Dodgers are counting on any of them.

  67. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Elbert even if he finds his stuff, is in the same category as Billingsley. He had TJ, and I believe it was early last season, so he won’t be ready probably until midseason at the earliest.

    I’ve read some really good stuff about Chris Anderson, who also has a good arm. The current issue of Baseball America, just published its draft report cards. In rating the best fastballs among the draftees, it says “The Dodgers pitching-heavy draft features several good fastballs, led by RHP Chris Anderson who has touched 98 mph and sits 94-95. He can throw strikes at that speed and pitches downhill.” Anderson was the Dodgers #1 pick in 2013. They also mention RHP Jacob Rhame, 6th round pick, who they say “reaches 96-97 mph and fits in a bullpen role”, and LHP Tom Windle (2nd round pick) as having “one of the draft’s best sliders, thrown with power at 84 mph and with hard, late break.”

    I’ve also read that Scott Griggs, the Dodgers 8th pick in 2012 out of UCLA has an electric arm, but not very good control.

  68. Mark_Timmons says:

    Two words:

    Ross Stripling!

  69. Badger says:

    Stripling- maybe. I doubt it. I have to ask, if Anderson is all that, why, at 21 was he pitching for the Loons? He should be at AA and he should do well there.

    Again, none of our guys are on any top prospect lists. If they are that good, crack the top 50. Otherwise package them up for a bat and sign the top free agent starters. This team and this organization is about NOW.

  70. Badger says:

    Look a at tonight’s Cardinal pitchers. All of them 23 or younger.

    Now THAT’S finding and developing young pitching.

  71. Bobby says:

    Uhh, Chris Anderson was drafted in June of 2013. He pitched in Great Lakes and was on a innings/pitch limit. I’m ok with him not being in AAA 2 months out of college and ready to come up.

    He is one of those power arm, college pitchers, like Michael Wacha. I’m not saying he’s coming up next year, but he dominated his league in short time last year, and he just got there in June sometime.

    Next year, he can get in AA sometime during the year. If all goes well, maybe he’s a late season call up. Maybe he’s a 2015 guy. Who knows.

  72. Quasimodo says:

    Since, cents and more sense. I’ve been scouring the internet and viewing Tanaka and goddamn! He’s got some pitches I’ve never seen before. He looks the answer to every teams problems. They’re saying he’s #3 ready but that’s surely selling him short. This kid is a batters nightmare.

  73. Badger says:

    Uhh, I know the story on Chris Anderson Bobby. Drafted 18th out of the Atlantic Sun Conference, where he had 14 starts, pitched 104 innings struck out 101. Chris Sale, 13th pick, pitched in that conference and was pitching with the White Sox the same year. A lot of pitchers come out of college and make the moves up right away. Especially first round picks. Michael Wacha, 19th pick, went right to the PCL and we know where he is now. I just checked, all of the pitchers from college in the last two drafts went to High A or higher, with the exception of one, who pitched in the rookie league.

    Not sure why this guy needed a pitch count, maybe he doesn’t throw many strikes – 24 base on balls in his 46 innings – so I’ll wait until he blows them away at AA, and I see him on the prospect lists, before I count him as a legit prospect. Not saying he won’t be, just saying I know lots of things can happen between the draft and getting in to the Major Leagues.

    • Badger says:

      edit – all the first round college pitchers from the last two drafts.

      I prefer Tanaka too Quas. And I am sure the Dodgers do as well. We were two games short of the World Series. This is not the time to consider trying a rookie in the rotation – unless of course the rookie outpitches everybody in Spring Training. And even if they do, I still bet they don’t start the year with the big club.

  74. Anonamadger says:

    If you haven’t read AJ Ellis in the Times you really should.

  75. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    What Bobby said about Chris Anderson supports what I read when he was drafted. I don’t remember all of the details, but I believe I recall reading in Baseball America that he was overworked in college, and that that adversely affected his performance in the latter half of the college season. Otherwise, BA thought that he would otherwise have been among the top 10 picks in the draft. As a consequence of his overwork in college the Dodgers determined that it was best to limit his pitching this year.

    Also, we need to stop comparing everyone to Michael Wacha. Every story is unique, and there are plenty of success stories that differ markedly from Michael Wacha’s.

    And let’s not glorify the Cardinals farm system either. While Wacha was drafted last year, almost all of their top prospects were drafted while Jeff Luhnow was the head of their player development department. Luhnow, who was considered one of the best (if not the best) player development guys in the business, has since moved on to become Houston’s GM. If anything, I expect that we might see Houston’s farm system bloom, especially since next year they will have the top pick in the draft for the third consecutive year.

  76. StL Fan says:


    I agree that comparing everyone to Wacha is very unfair. And actually it’s a very small sample size at this point. That being said all of the ingredients are there for Wacha to be a prolific star pitcher but everyone said that about Kerry Wood and Mark Prior also.

    And regarding Luhnow, having the first pick just about every year should help the farm system! He could look like a genius if the Astros become competitive in the next couple of years.

  77. Badger says:

    Jonathan Mayo,

    “Anderson was a hot commodity early, but recent struggles have led to a fade. He could be this year’s Michael Wacha, who was in early 1-1 conversations last year but fell to St. Louis at No. 19.”

    SB Nation:

    “Chris Anderson is a right-hander out of Jacksonville University with a mid-90s fastball and a slider that is considered a plus pitch by many. He is the consensus pick for the Cardinals at No. 19 and he has even drawn comparisons to Cardinal prospect Michael Wacha. After the premium college arms, there are not many other college pitchers that are thought to have the upper-rotation potential that Anderson does, but some struggles and a heavy workload this season have him on the borderline for the first-round.”

    I read it all too guys. Heavy workload? I remain curious why, after less than 100 innings, he lost it. And I know it may sound like I am comparing EVERYONE to Wacha, but, honestly, I am only talking about first round college pitchers for the last two years. They didn’t tire and need to be sent to Low A. Anderson will be 22 next summer. He’s a big strong kid. He should be in AA by then and he should be mowing them down there.

    Let’s just see how he rebounds before we anoint him anything. And as for the Cardinals, they have obviously done better in the draft than we have. And watching those three young pitchers throttle the Sox yesterday was very impressive. They still have two in the Top 50, but maybe they come back to the pack with Luhnow gone. Hope so.

    And yeah, Houston’s farm system is stocked. Not sure if he did it, but they got plenty of talent in the Top 100 lists.

    We’re close, and I predict we will do it with veterans. We’ll see if I am right.

  78. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Anderson is a closer.

  79. Incognito says:

    That was me.

  80. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “I am only talking about first round college pitchers for the last two years. They didn’t tire and need to be sent to Low A.”

    Wacha was rated as the Cardinals #6 propect by Baseball America at the beginning of this year. This is what they had to say about his workload. “The Cardinals eased him into pro ball as a reliever, and he responded by striking out 45 in 24 innings (including the Texas League playoffs).”

    This from baseball-reference.

    Wacha pitched only 21 innings last year (24 if you include the playoffs). They included 5 innings in Rookie ball, 8 innings in A, and 8 innings in AA.

    Even this year the Cardinals limited Wacha’s work. In fact, I read earlier that his work was limited because they intended to call him up, and didn’t want to put too many innings on his arm so as to keep him fresh when he came up.

    So this year he pitched 85 innings in AAA, and when he got to St. Louis he threw another 64.2 innings. That’s a total of 149.2 innings. Add the 24 innings from last year, and he’s thrown a total of 174 innings (rounded) in two years.

    Clearly, just like the Dodgers did with Anderson, the Cards started Wacha at low classifications, and gave him some limited time at AA last year. And again this year, they limited his work because they anticipated that he was going to play a role on their staff in the second half of the year (and he has).

    These are Chris Anderson’s stats from this year, where he was starting and not just coming out of the pen throwing heat.

    • Badger says:

      So you are comparing Anderson to Wacha too!

      And are you also suggesting Anderson will be pitching in the rotation next year?

      Hope you’re right. But I’ll stick with my prediction we go with a rotation of veterans.

  81. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    By the way, I am not suggesting that Anderson is going to be a Wacha clone. It’s too early to make any judgments about that. And I imagine that just like the Cardinals did with Wacha this year, the Dodgers will open the season with him in the minors, and promote him to LA later in the season if he earns it. Or if the circumstances call for it, he could stay in the minors all year. I also suspect that if he shows well in spring training, that he could open next year at AA. And because the Dodgers AAA affiliate is ALBQ, it might be that he never sees AAA. I think we know that the Dodgers tend to keep their best pitching prospects out of that pitchers hell. However, because he throws hard, it’s possible that he could see some time at ALBQ.

  82. Badger says:

    If he is as good as advertised, he will pitch at AA.

    College ball is generally considered as good as A ball. He has already had three years of A ball.

  83. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger, as you can see from my subsequent post I was NOT suggesting that he will be in the Dodgers rotation, and I noted that he was not necessarily going to be Michael Wacha. I was simply making the case that he’s a highly regarded prospect with good stuff, and was in fact responding to your comments about him tiring and starting in a low classification. In that respect he is similar to Wacha, who began his pro career also in a low classification last year, and that he too was limited in his work, both last year and this year.

  84. Badger says:

    I was busting your chops Brooklyn.

    I think we probably agree more than you may realize. Several pitchers his age are ahead of him. That means little in the long run. I hope to see him up next year, I really do.

    Btw, I read all that stuff (and more) on him. I read stats and facts all day long. My friends call me “fact check”. I’m retired and love to do research. It’s the old educator in me.

    I like Anderson. I believe he will move up the prospect charts quickly. Just like Wacha did! Doh!

  85. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    And you succeeded in busting them Badger.

    If Anderson is ready, then I too would hope to see him. That of course is yet to be determined. Right now my focus is on Masahiro Tanaka, and whether the Dodgers will be challenged by the Yankees in their pursuit of him, especially since the posting fee doesn’t count against their payroll, and therefore towards the luxury tax. Also, I believe that the Yankees have some big dollars coming off their payroll this year, as do the Dodgers. A lot could depend on whether or not the Yankees re-sign Cano, especially since I don’t expect the Dodgers to be part of that bidding.

  86. Bobby says:

    Agree with both of u, and I really really would like Tanaka, the more I read about him.

    Anyone know when the posting time frame actually takes place?

  87. Badger says:

    Good question Bobby. Haven’t found anything on it. Ryu was announced in early November, Darvish in mid December. We’ll have to wait until this Series is over, I think that’s safe to say. Hopefully we know something next month.

    While I was cruising around, I saw an article that said the midgets might be interested. They are flush now, they sell a lot of tickets etc.. Could be smoke to drive up the Dodgers bid:

  88. Roger Dodger says:

    Have not posted in awhile.

    We are on a cruise to Hawaii. Left last Sunday. Be back Nov 5. Just moments online at sea.

    Taking Chemo each Tuesday on the trip.

    Having a great time, wish you where here . . .

  89. Bobby says:

    Some info on Tanaka and the posting system/timeframe:

    According to David Lennon of Newsday, the agreement between Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball that formed the posting system has expired. Until a new agreement is made, Masahiro Tanaka won’t be able to post and join MLB. Technically, he could simply retire from NPB and become free to sign with whatever team he wants, like Hideo Nomo and Alfonso Soriano had previously done.

    As a Japanese citizen, Tanaka is unlikely to do something that would damage his connection to his home league, so he’ll have to wait. It has been rumored that changes were on the way to the posting system, so a new agreement could include that there will be three winning bids, instead of just one. Tanaka is not just the latest phenom to come over from Japan, but these changes could make him an ambassador between America and Japan.

  90. jerry says:

    heard matt william is the new manager of the washington ,if that is so …how come they dont have to wait till the world series is over.

  91. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Here’s your answer jerry.

    Read the last sentence of the first paragraph which states, “The Nationals have not confirmed Williams’ planned hiring, as MLB prohibits teams from making major announcements during the World Series.”

    Teams are prohibited from making major announcements, but there is no such prohibition on the media from reporting anything they like. That’s also why we have continued to hear Mattingly news in the media, but why there has been no official announcement from the Dodgers.


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