When he was asked about the Los Angeles Dodgers first half performance this season, manager Don Mattingly spoke fairly highly without sounding too proud. It was a rough first month or so but Mattingly has this team’s position perfectly pegged and I suspect he and his staff have a lot more to do with the drastic turnaround the team saw in the last couple of months than most give them credit for.
Sure, Yasiel Puig has been a dramatically good player for the first several weeks of his career and without a doubt he gave the Dodgers a boost. Don’t forget who called him up and gave him the right place to succeed however. Mattingly and his staff made that call. Also Hanley Ramirez came off the disabled list at the perfect time and this team fought their way back from 9.5 behind first place at one point to only 2.5 back at the All-Star break.
Mattingly suggested that it was great to have their fate in hand. He is right again on that. Being as close as they are you have to wonder what might have been if they had performed at this high of a level all season long. Still they have themselves in a position to win the division if the go out and have a great second half.
It is interesting to note that many who were quick to blame Mattingly when the team was doing poorly, didn’t them give him credit when they turned things around. If he was to blame for one then the other should be to his credit. You cannot have it both ways. Good job by Mattingly and his staff as well as the players to drag themselves out of a deep hole. Now, they have a chance.