Call me crazy, Los Angeles Dodger fans, but Don Mattingly will win Manager of the Year in 2014.
Just about 10 months ago, Dodger fans were calling for Mattingly’s dismissal. The team was dwelling at the bottom of the National League West and seemed destined to be called the biggest busts of the 2013 season.
Then mid-June happened. Hanley Ramirez returned from the disabled list and Yasiel Puig was called up from the minors all within a span of a few days. The two players brought energy back to the Dodgers and led the team from the bottom of the division to an appearance in the National League Championship Series.
While all of the attention and credit for the Dodgers’ rebirth was given to Ramirez and Puig, Mattingly was the one constant for the team throughout the season and should be given more credit for the team’s turnaround.
2014 will be the year that Mattingly gets his credit after he wins the National League Manager of the Year Award. As ludicrous as this sounds, hear me out Dodger fans. Yes, Mattingly does have a tendency to call blunt plays way to often, but his overall baseball prowess and knowledge of the game will lead the team to a lot of wins this year.
Where Mattingly will show his true genius this season is in his management of Clayton Kershaw. We know that Kershaw wants to pitch as often as he can, even if it’s at his own detriment. Mattingly will keep Kershaw from harming himself and preserve the Dodgers’ playoff chances by doing so.
Just wait Dodger fans; Mattingly will prove that he is the manager the Dodgers need and deserve this year.