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5 Reasons Why Los Angeles Dodgers Were Smart to Extend Don Mattingly

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5 Reasons Why Los Angeles Dodgers Were Smart to Extend Don Mattingly

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

The news hit recently that the Los Angeles Dodgers decided to go through with a contract extension for Don Mattingly. They couldn’t have made a better decision for their franchise. Mattingly is the perfect manager for this team without a doubt. He is as well matched for this team as any manager is for any team in MLB. It could be suggested that with the amount of talent the Dodgers pay for on the field, anyone could manage them but that’s just not true.

Anyone that knows baseball knows that a bunch of talented players does anything but guarantee success for the team at the end of the season. If anything the more star players a team has the more difficult it is to manage. Mattingly had four starting outfielders for most of the successful part of the Dodgers 2013 season and was able to keep most everyone playing hard when they were in the game. That says something about the man.

It really shouldn’t come as a shock that Mattingly is the way he is around his team. He isn’t what most would consider a by-the-book manager to say the least. He does a lot of things that are not what most managers do and that is just one reason it was smart for the Dodgers to extend him through the 2016 season. Of course a manager’s contract is never guaranteed for some reason but they should still hold on to Mattingly the entire time. Here are five more reasons why.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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Star Player Who Can Manager Star Players

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Mattingly might or might not be considered Hall of Fame material by everyone but ‘Donny Baseball’ was every bit a star player for the Yankees. He knows how star players think and what makes them tick and therefore is a good choice to manage a team which has a lot of star players.

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Unconventional Style

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Do not expect Mattingly to play it by the book on a regular basis because he just isn’t going to. Sometimes what he feels is right will be by the book and sometimes it won’t. Sometimes it will work and sometimes it won’t. This style worked well for the Dodgers in 2013 and it will continue to.

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Not Afraid to Hurt Feelings

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Can you imagine Mattingly thinking twice before saying something that would get a player fouled up? I really doubt that he would even think about it at all other than just knowing what the right thing to do is. The situation between he and Yasiel Puig might have been angering to Puig and controversial to many but in that clubhouse everyone knew whose word would stand.

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Takes Blame but Not Credit

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Watch any good manager worth his weight and he will do two things regularly. First of all he will take the complete blame for any and all wrong decisions or even good decisions followed by a player not coming through. Secondly, when he makes a decision that turns to gold he will accept zero credit at all. Mattingly does that naturally and it is what makes him a natural leader.

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

If you saw the interviews with Mattingly after Greinke got his collarbone broken by a childish fight, you know passion. Even the reporters around him were asking questions in their nicest tone possible. He looked as if he could have wanted a piece of the Padres outfielder himself and might in fact have wanted one. “If he plays before Greinke pitches, there’s something wrong.” That is a basic quote from Mattingly around that time. The way he handled that situation and the team in the aftermath of that situation is likely when they really started the very beginnings of their turnaround. Players love and respect a manager and that they know will have their back in nearly any situation.