The reports of Don Mattingly’s discontent with his treatment by the Los Angeles Dodgers have made for interesting reading.
Mattingly, whose job was apparently on the line and saved by an extraordinary hot streak that propelled the Dodgers to within two games of the World Series, doesn’t yet have an extension.
Los Angeles picked up his option for next season, but Mattingly says that if he doesn’t have a long-term deal, his authority in the clubhouse could be eroded.
Stan Kasten, the onetime outspoken president of the Nationals, couldn’t have enjoyed Mattingly’s comments, which occurred with general manager Ned Colletti standing by.
Mattingly is hugely admired by Orioles manager Buck Showalter. Mattingly was a teammate of his in the minors and played for him in New York.
Showalter marveled at Mattingly’s ability, and knew that as soon as he saw him play, his chances at a major league career with the Yankees were gone.
Last April, Showalter spoke endlessly about his friend as they prepared to meet each other for the first time as big league managers.
“So, I like him. I’m not going to like him for three days,” Showalter said.
Showalter would never have been outspoken publicly about his contract had he been in a similar place. In fact, he was in a similar place. The Dodgers’ treatment of Mattingly is reminiscent of how Showalter and some other Yankees managers were treated under George Steinbrenner.
Los Angeles’ pursuit of glitzy free agents is also similar to New York under Steinbrenner.
Mattingly will either end up with an extension or a new job. As a player, Mattingly was always available to the media, and the press has repaid that by favoring an extension for him.