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Buzz: Mattingly makes things awkward
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been hemming and hawing about manager Don Mattingly’s future with the team, despite the third-year skipper rallying the club from last in its division to within two wins of the World Series over the course of the last few months.
So when it came time for his final media appearance of the year, Mattingly, alongside Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, turned the tables on the front office in one of the most awkward and uncomfortable power plays you’ll ever see.
Wearing a black shirt and sitting with his arms crossed for most of the address, Mattingly — who said his reported $1.4 million option for next year has already vested — did a little waffling of his own about his future with the club and whether he’d even like to be back next season.
“Yeah, I love it here,” said Mattingly, who appeared to want to be just about anywhere but where he was. “I like being here. But I don’t want to be anywhere you’re not wanted.”
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Mattingly, during his refractory effort to get himself a long-term deal, also spoke to just how trying the 2013 season was without the full support of management — almost as if to say, “Imagine how good it could be if I actually had some support.”
"This has been a frustrating, tough year, honestly," Mattingly told the assembled media. "I think when you are in with a club like this, basically as a lame duck, with the payroll and the guys that you have, it puts you in a tough spot in the clubhouse. When you're put in this position, the organization basically says, ‘We don't know if you can manage or not.’
"That’s the position I’ve been in all year long. So that’s not a great position for me as a manager. That’s the way the organization wanted it last year. That’s fine. At this point it is what it is."
Mattingly’s move — which was probably directed more at Dodgers president Stan Kasten — left Colletti in a position where all he could do was spin his wheels, say he wanted Mattingly back and assure the media that the Dodgers' front office will be talking to Mattingly about his future.
It may not be a good sign that the Dodgers canned Mattingly's bench coach, Trey Hillman, on Tuesday.
But Mattingly, seemingly content to work elsewhere if he can’t get a multi-year guarantee out of the Dodgers, made it excruciatingly clear that he won’t be waiting around for that discussion to happen.
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