Monday, February 21, 2011

Meanwhile, Matt Kemp Has Cooties and James Loney Has The Heebie-Jeebies

According to, new Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has a slight case of the jitters:

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- In his 14-year playing career, Don Mattingly exuded a quiet confidence. He played like nothing could rattle him, an important trait for a player who spent his entire career with the New York Yankees.

But on Sunday, the first-year Los Angeles Dodgers manager conceded he had some jitters about standing up to give the first speech to the entire team when the position players arrive in camp Monday.

"How long have I been thinking about it? The whole winter," Mattingly said when asked about the speech. "A lot of it is talking from your heart, but making sure I have some type of direction.

"You make notes over time. There will be parts of that speech from things I might have heard my second spring training that I ever went to as a player."

Mattingly said he was nervous when talking to the pitchers and catchers when they reported Wednesday.

"It's the first time. You're starting out and you're trying to create an environment and let the players know how you think," Mattingly said.

I wonder if Mattingly would have been as nervous had we landed a couple of big bats this off-season.

But wait, there's more! Mattingly revealed that his managerial prowess is going to be so subtle, even ESPN won't be able to pick up his influence:

So far in camp, the way Mattingly wants the Dodgers to play is with an eye on the details. He says the stuff that doesn't get noticed -- like backing up throws to the bases and getting in the right position to defend a bunt -- is going to be a big part of his message.

"You won't see it on ESPN, but those things help you win ballgames. That's what we want them to understand," Mattingly said. "All of the little things that form your ballclub, I want them to feel like they know it."

Take that, John Kruk and Peter Gammons!


Josh S. said...

"You won't see it on ESPN..."

Like Royals/Orioles!

Steve Sax said...

Oh shit, have the Dodgers fallen that far, that we're the Royals now? Ugh.