The Los Angeles Dodgers, after winning the division on Opening Day, have fallen on tough times. They're 18-25, and they've lost key contributors to injury. Juan Uribe is outhitting Matt Kemp. Luis Cruz has a -37 OPS+. Nick Punto leads the team in on-base percentage.
This is causing concern in Dodger-land. And it's also causing speculation that manager Don Mattingly might not be around for a long time. From Ken Rosenthal
Watching Sunday’s meltdown on television, I thought, "Mattingly might be gone tomorrow." And then I got a text from a rival scout, one who has no particular insight into the Dodgers, but is attuned — like so many in the sport — to the game’s day-to-day rhythms.
"Making the call — Donnie Ballgame will get the axe tomorrow," the scout said.
When I asked the scout why he thought that, he replied, "Gut feeling. The way they’ve been losing.
Donnie Ballgame did not get the axe. On the contrary, the Dodgers gave him a vote of quasi-confidence on Monday, saying they have "no plans" to fire him. I have no plans to eat a slice of cheesecake in the next week. I might eat a slice of cheesecake in the next week. That's kind of the same definition of "no plans."
Regardless, we have to spring into action. We need to let the Dodgers know just how much we respect Don Mattingly's ability to lead a clubhouse, and how terrified we are of his bear trap of a mind. If they only knew how excited Giants fans would be if Mattingly were fired, why, they would wonder if they're doing the right thing. Maybe they would keep him around. My plan:
Hire people around Los Angeles to follow owners and executives around
The idea: hire people to wear Giants hats and follow Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson around while saying things like …
Boy, I can't believe the Dodgers would be stupid enough to fire Don Mattingly
I wasn't sure if the Giants could win the division this year, but now that the Dodgers are going to fire Mattingly … I don't know, they have a shot.
The only problem with this plan is that I'm not sure we could find locals who a) have a lot of free time on their hands and b) feel comfortable pretending to say things as if they were completely different people. That kind of manhunt might be beyond our resources.
Write letters filled with reverse psychology
This one is something we can all do. Just pick up some stationary, a pen, an envelope, and a stamp, and you can help out, too.
Here's a sample. Feel free to reshape this into your own words:
As a Giants fan, I am absolutely thrilled that you are going to fire Don Mattingly. Because I root for a rival team, I was originally worried that you would keep Don Mattingly around, where he would bond with his ragtag band of superstars and help them forge a unified team identity. This is probably the best news possible.
So, please, go about your business. I just wanted to let you know that you guys are on the right track … if you want to help the Giants?
P.S. Why would I tell you this? That was a horrible decision! Forget I wrote anything!
Forge Rob Neyer's name on an article lauding Mattingly's brilliance
I got this one.
Why Don Mattingly is Great
by Rob Neyer
Opening! Interesting historical reference. Recap of Ken Rosenthal's article.
Statistical study with important numbers pointing to something you didn't realize.
Conclusion suggesting the Dodgers are fools if they let Don Mattingly go.
Draft a fake memo on Dodgers letterhead
This one will be the trickiest of all, but it should be effective. A little Photoshop and research should give us something that looks as if it came from Ned Colletti's desk, and it should read like this:
After thorough research, I've concluded that these are the only managerial candidates on the market. Like, this is it. I've looked and looked and looked, but these are the only realistic alternatives to Don Mattingly:
- Ozzie Guillen
- Jim Tracy
- Bobby Valentine
- Jose Canseco
Please advise which direction we should turn.
Other suggestions are welcome, of course. This is a group effort, and we owe it to the Dodgers to make sure Don Mattingly keeps his job. Haven't the big corporations taken enough jobs from hard-smirking Americans?
Keep Mattingly employed! Keep Mattingly employed! Keep Mattingly employed! Please help. I have an e-mail out to Sarah McLachlan to see if she can shoot something within the week. We can do this, people.