Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is arguably under more pressure than any other MLB manager heading into the 2013 season. The Dodgers made a truckload of big splashes this off-season in free agency, which means they now have a target on their backs as the new favorites in the NL West.
When a baseball team adds names like Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Brandon League and Zack Geinke in a span of less than six months, eyebrows aren’t the only things that get raised. Los Angeles’ payroll now exceeds $200 million with this star-studded lineup, which has become a trend for professional sports teams in the City of Angels.
Speaking of which, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are definitely no longer the top team in LA, at least on paper. Their signing of Josh Hamilton this off-season makes the Dodgers’ payroll look average, yet no one is talking about the Angels. Instead, all eyes are on the Dodgers, which means Mattingly will literally be required to make the playoffs in 2013.
In fact, most baseball folks in LA are saying that Mattingly will be dismissed if the Dodgers don’t win the World Series this year. With the Los Angeles Lakers struggling and the Angels’ disappointing 2012 season, the Dodgers could become not only the top baseball team in LA, but the top sports team as well (no, we haven’t forgotten about the Los Angeles Clippers). No pressure, Don.