Say what you will about Don Mattingly, but he is the only Dodger manager in recent memory who is not afraid to tell it like it is. No matter how bad the team played, guys like Jim Tracy and Joe Torre always put a spin on the way the Dodgers were performing.
Coming off a horrible home stand, where they were 4-6 against mediocre teams and pitching, Don admitted that his team was not very good. He is tired of answering for his players and told the media to talk to the players. Matt Kemp, who is getting paid 20 million dollars this year, would not man up and face the reporters, leaving it up to guys like Turner and Butera to face the scrum. Even when he does talk to reporters, Kemp almost always spouts some mindless cliché like “It is what it is.”
To his credit, Hanley Ramirez agreed to talk. “I don’t know what to say. I still go out, hustle, do the best I can. Of course you’ve got to be mad,” Ramirez said. “We’re not doing nothing right now, so we’ve got to start playing better. Everybody should be angry the way we’re playing right now.”
Those guys are being paid to put up numbers, not grumble about being removed for defensive purposes late in the game, or being shifted to left field. Kemp, whose monster ego won’t allow him the humility to admit that, at least until he is healthy again, he is no longer a premier player. He has gone 4 for his last 32 at bats and is again striking out by pathetically flailing away at pitches well off the plate and in the dirt.
Dee Gordon has fallen back to Earth after his meteoric start and has reverted to hitting fly balls and making some poor decisions on the bases.
At the moment, only Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner are playing well. André Ethier is playing well in center field but his offense has been spotty.
Going into Denver, the Dodgers will face the Rockies, who, while not high up in the standings, are the best hitting team in the league. Even though the Dodgers starting pitchers have been good, giving up 2 or 3 runs might be more than the anemic Dodgers hitters can overcome.
The Dodgers are in a shit storm and will need a Rocky Mountain sized amount of toilet paper to clean it all up. And if some of these multi multi millionaire Prima Donna players don’t start playing for the name on front of their jerseys instead of the name on the back, even that won’t be enough.