This is my last picture of Don Mattingly the ex Dodgers manager. I say ex with heavy heart. He is shown here signing autographs for the fans, something he did everyday without complaint. I heard complaints about him everyday except when the Dodgers won and also when they won the West. I never complained because I liked him. I am lucky in that I actually talked to him and got to know him better than most fans are able to. He is a very caring manager..something that you don’t find much. Those who had such animosity toward him really didn’t know him. He managed with something different, a kind attitude. He cared about his team. Why else would Andre Ethier have waited so patiently in the wings usually being the odd man out and then come out being as good as he was. Donnie was able to bring the best out of each player. The key to being a good manager is to make each player know that he matters.
As I’ve said before, someone had to take the blame for not getting further in postseason. Everyone seems to forget that the Dodgers almost were able to beat the Mets who are playing in the World Series. The Dodgers were only one game away from winning the NLDS. Did everyone forget that? The reason why the Dodgers lost that game wasn’t Donnie’s fault…it was due mistakes made on the field. The Dodgers lost by one run. The Dodgers also won the western division 3 years in a row. There were the injuries. There was the sorry bullpen and only 2 dependable pitchers. The owners are to blame for that. But Donnie took the heat for all that. I was a little tired having to defend my views. Donnie was not responsible for the acquisition of players including the pitchers.
No one knows who the next manager will be. Donnie’s shoes will be hard to fill. He came to the Dodgers 5 seasons ago, never having managed before. He inherited a team of different personalities over the last 5 years and seemed to be able to make the team itself happy. The pictures I have taken during his tenure show smiles, laughter, a comraderie not always found in teams. No one on the team took the spotlight. They all worked together. That isn’t always found in MLB teams. Other seasons before Donnie the team often seemed to be at odds with each other as in the Jeff Kent years.
The team had a happy season. What the future seasons will be without Donnie time will tell. Zack doesn’t know what it’s like being a Dodger without Donnie at the helm. That may influence whether Zack returns, the uncertainty of who will be the manager and the pitching coach. Good job, owners.
So everyone who wanted Donnie gone has what they wanted. I don’t like the uncertainty. I’m not sure whether restructuring the coaches and managers is the answer to winning the World Series. I think the answer is the pitching. If you look at the Mets, the pitching was the key as well as the homerun hitting skills of Murphy. Put Murphy and 3 of the Mets pitchers on the Dodgers and we would be in the World Series.
I know Donnie will be managing somewhere else because he is a gem. Whatever team gets him is lucky. Maybe he will be with the Marlins and Dee Gordon. I know Dee will be happy.
Good luck Donnie. Bring that team to the World Series. You deserve it.
Everyone has asked me who I want to win the World Series. I wanted the Cubs but with them out, I have to say the Royals. But truthfully, I really don’t care.
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