Friday, June 06, 2014

Players' Coach...Blames Players

As this mediocre 2014 Dodgers season extends into month three, frustrations abound all over the place. But I was a little surprised to hear Don Mattingly deflect (refract?) the spotlight onto his players, whose behavior he called "selfish":

Don Mattingly reached his breaking point Wednesday night, using an expletive to describe the Dodgers in the wake of their latest defeat, a 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

"Basically, we're ... ," Mattingly said. "We're just not that good."

The Dodgers have lost six of their last eight games. They are only one game over .500 and trail the San Francisco Giants by a season-high eight games in the National League West.

The storied franchise with a $240-million payroll is 13-19 at Dodger Stadium. The only team in the majors that has lost more home games are the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks.

"Home, away, whatever," Mattingly said. "I don't know what that has to do with it."

The Dodgers looked particularly helpless on this night, as they were limited to a hit over the first seven innings, a bunt single by Dee Gordon to lead off the bottom of the first inning.

Mattingly had little to say about the loss and called on his players to be accountable.

"I really think you should talk to them," he said. "I'm tired of answering the questions, honestly."

Before the game, Mattingly implied some of his players were more concerned about themselves than they were about the team.

Asked about how Carl Crawford's anticipated return from the disabled list could affect Matt Kemp's playing time, Mattingly replied, "I'm not thinking about any of that right now. Honestly, so tired of talking about individual guys instead of talking about us as a club and how we are going to win games. There's so much focus on individual guys that we've gotten away from, 'What's the team doing? How are we going to win games?' "

Uh, isn't that kind of your job? Or maybe it's the players' job? I'm confused.

(By the way, Dylan Hernandez' follow-up story today references Mattingly's call out last year...which did not work then. Great.)