The Los Angeles Dodgers are officially subject to the whims of the 24 hour news cycle. The overreactions to the ups and the downs of their season, with all the incidents, bat flips, injuries, and Yasiel Puig drama that will accompany them will be featured on the bottom line, the faux BREAKING NEWS header, and everything else that comes with such a hype machine.
That is a difficult context in which to manage a baseball team. Don Mattingly knows that, and he made it clear at the conclusion of 2013 that he did not want to do so on a one year deal. Having since been rewarded with an extension, Mattingly is looking forward to the season (quotes from Barry M. Bloom at MLB.com):
I’ve seen a lot of talk lately about the security, and that’s never really been an issue for me…It’s more the confidence, and that’s what I think is important. The organization has shown confidence. I think it says that to fans, it says that to me and more importantly it says that to the players. It lets them know that we feel like this guy can do the job.”
That’s nice for Mattingly to say now as he navigates the semantics of public contract negotiations, but ‘security’ was clearly an issue for him when he pretty much threw a tantrum at the beginning of the off-season. Nevertheless, he is settled as the manager of a scary Dodgers team that will open the season at the end of March in Australia against the Arizona Diamondbacks.