MILWAUKEE (AP) - Beleaguered manager Don Mattingly insisted Monday he doesn’t feel he’s about to be fired by the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he has no idea whether he needs to win a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers to keep his job.
“As far as any kind of rumors or whatever they are, I talked to Stan the other day. He didn’t fire me that day,” Mattingly said. “I’m still here. Ned didn’t tell me I wasn’t going to be here tomorrow or today. That’s the way I look at it.”
When asked whether he thought he would be managing the team Friday if it didn’t win the three-game series with the Brewers, Mattingly said: “I have no idea. I really haven’t gotten any feeling that Ned’s like on the edge of like, `Donnie you’re the problem here.’”
He referred to comments from Magic Johnson, part of the Dodgers ownership group, that superstars have to carry teams in the NBA playoffs.
“That’s really what it’s going to boil down to,” Mattingly said. “(Clayton) Kershaw’s going to have to pitch great. (Zack) Greinke’s going to have to pitch great. You know? Our big boys are going to have to play big.”
The big boys in the Dodgers‘ lineup haven’t produced as in years past. A group that includes Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier ranks next-to-last in the majors in runs.
The bullpen also has been a sore spot, and shortstop Hanley Ramirez has played in only four games due to injuries.
Mattingly didn’t criticize any players, but said the middle of his lineup would have to perform well for the team to win.
“We can sit here and say, you know, Nick Punto having a great year is really nice, but Nick Punto’s not taking us to the promised land. I’ll say that in an honoring way,” he said. “Dee Gordon has to do his thing. Mark Ellis has to do his thing. But they’re not taking us to the promised land.
“Adrian and Matt, Hanley when he gets back, Andre, those are the guys, the guys in the middle of the order, that you count on to be run producers,” he said. “That’s what we do. How do you not stay with those guys? You don’t just abandon ship and say, `What do you do?’”