Friday, July 23, 2010

Mattingly still might be a good manager

The 1985 AL MVP disappointed some fans on Tuesday night by doing a double-take that caused Jonathan Broxton to exit the game. Don Mattingly may well be the next Dodgers manager if Joe Torre decides he wants to retire at the end of the season. While I think most of this is November material, the situation reminded me of something.

Before Jonathan Broxton became closer, he got chances to close games when Takashi Saito was day-to-day. I remember he blew a lot of those opportunities and scrutiny abounded. One of the best set-up men in the game at that time but there were still doubts as to whether or not he had the mettle to be a closer. We know now what he can do.

It's almost fair to say that Don Mattingly got a chance to manage. Not only was Torre gone but so was Bob Schaefer and that night's starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw. The dugout was more vacant than usual and things were in disarray. Mattingly just wanted what everyone wanted: an end to that night's game.

The worst action Mattingly made that night was putting in George Sherrill. Anyone but him probably would have sufficed. The advocates for Sherrill, who could have their meetings in a Chevy Nova, would say that he was rushed too but I am only going to go so far. I think you have to look at Mattingly and see that he has spent time in the Yankees and Dodgers clubhouse as hitting coach. He has undoubtedly observed how Joe Torre has managed the teams throughout the years.

I think that if Mattingly was given the job, he will do well. He won't be Joe Torre. I do think he may be somebody that will be able to manage a team to a World Series. I am not saying locking him in but I am saying do not judge him by a mistake he won't make again. Even the umpiring staff wasn't completely familiar with the procedures after a double visit is committed.


Kenley Jansen has arrived at the expense of Justin Miller, who is designated for assignment. Will Torre put Jansen in a high-leverage situation with Kuo having warmed-up or pitched the last three days? We will find out tonight. Difficult it may be, perhaps the bats will come alive as Vicente Padilla and the Dodgers face the Johan.

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