By Mitch Chortkoff
Cheer up, Dodger fans.
I know you’re disappointed in the team’s inability to reach the World Series.
Calm down. Take a deep breath. Realize the Dodgers had a fantastic season and there’s reason to be optimistic about the future, beginning next season.
Yasiel Puig appears to be on the way to becoming a superstar. The new owners have demonstrated they’ll spend plenty of money to keep the team in playoff and then championship contention.
As this column is being written the Dodgers haven’t announced whether Don Mattingly will continue as manager. I think it’s a shame there’s any doubt about it.
By virtue of the Dodgers winning their first round playoff series from the Atlanta Braves Mattingly has a contract for next season.
The issue is he wants a multi-year contract and the Dodgers don’t seem anxious to give him one.
I don’t blame Mattingly for taking a stand. He’s assured of being the manager next season but he wants job security.
He doesn’t want to go through another season like this one when every win or loss led to speculation about his future.
Only one team can be the champion each season. Let’s give credit for a manager getting his team into the playoffs, especially after the Dodgers got off to a terrible start.
Walter Alston and Tommy Lasorda both lasted 20 years as the Dodgers’ manager. That gave the franchise stability.
Overreacting to events in one season is something the bad franchises do. That’s not the Dodgers’ way.
Stability gives you respect through the industry. Free agents know what to expect if they join the Dodgers.
The new owners gave spent plenty in bringing in talent but I hope they don’t expect a World Series win every year.
Spending a lot gives you a team likely to consistently make the playoffs. But once the playoffs begin every team has a chance.
Injuries are a factor. A disappointing hitting slump or an off day like Clayton Kershaw had in the final game loss to the Cardinals can occur.
Firing a manager for a playoff defeat doesn’t make sense to me. Six or eight months of success shouldn’t be wiped out in a couple of disappointing weeks.
I was surprised when the Dodgers didn’t offer second baseman Mark Ellis a contract last week. Not every player can be a superstar. Reliable veterans like Ellis are extremely valuable.
But we’ll see this off-season what the Dodgers have in mind there.
Magic Johnson went on radio last week and said Mattingly will be back.
I hope he’s right.