Culver City Observer -

Dodgers: Don't Blame Mattingly, Blame The Front Office

 

October 22, 2015

By Mitch Chortkoff

Sports Editor

So the Dodgers didn't reach the World Series and speculation immediately mounted that Don Mattingly would be fired.

What about the new guys in charge who ripped apart a roster that won 94 games last season? I'd place a lot of blame on them.

New ownership came to the Dodgers willing to spend heavily in contrast to former owner Frank McCourt.

But spending isn't enough if you don't spend wisely. The Dodgers' 2015 payroll was the highest in major league baseball history yet the team had major flaws.

As the season progressed I noticed these flaws more and more. Unreliable starting pitching after Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke took their turns. An offense weakened by questionable trades.

Matt Kemp gone and Joc Pederson struggling mightily in the second half of the season.

And the biggest mistake of all, trading second baseman Dee Gordon, who at 26 led the National league in hitting with a .333 average. And, oh, yes, 58 stolen bases for his new team in Miami.

How much better would the Dodgers' offense had been with Gordon getting on bsse to ignite rallies?

The new owners hired Andrew Friedman, who had been touted as a genius because of his work in Tampa Bay.

Friedman became President of Baseball Operations and Farhan Zaldi became General Manager.

Their first season with the Dodgers was a failure in terms of Dodger expectations. Two wins less than last season and a first round playoff loss to the Mets.

No trading deadline deal that might have brought in David Price or Cole Hamels. Instead entrusting that playoff game start to Brett Anderson that led to a 13-7 loss to the Mets.

Did these Dodger executives believe Anderson woukld be good enough or were the Dodgers out of the bidding because they had spent so much already?

If the Dodgers would have been as good as the new guys in charge expected they'd still be playing and they could be tested by a team from the Central Division. Which one? It wouldn't matter. All three, the Cardinals, Pirates and Cubs all had vastly superior records.

Mattingly has been criticized for frequently changing the lineup in the post season. But what is a manager supposed to do when a roster handed to him has so few players likely to succeed on a daily basis?

So, Dodger front office people, take a good look in the mirror before placing the blame elsewhere.

 

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