It's a tough time to be someone who gets their jollies by laughing at the Dodgers. For example, it would be funny if Clayton Kershaw made it to free agency and signed with the Orioles, or something. That would be funny. I would laugh at the Dodgers. More importantly, I would get my jollies by laughing at the Dodgers.
But that scenario isn't going to happen. Kershaw is going to re=sign with the Dodgers for a billion dollars, and the overpayment isn't even going to be mildly amusing, because what do they care? It's a tough time to be someone who gets their jollies by laughing at the Dodgers.
Still, there are nuggets of jolly ore waiting for you if you're interested. There's always the chance that Andre Ethier could slip on a banana peel in the outfield, or that Yasiel Puig gets in a slap fight with a pigeon. There are errors and strikeouts to root for, and there's always a chance this happens again.
Never gets old.
But if you're looking for a consistent, reliable source of Dodgers-related mirth and amusement, there isn't a greater friend to us than manager Don Mattingly. I don't know if he can finish Sunday's crossword puzzle in the Times or solve a Rubik's Cube in under six minutes. When it comes to in-game strategy, though, I'm pretty sure he's a buffoon. A complete and total buffoon. Which makes this good news:
Sources: #Dodgers making progress on Mattingly extension. Deal expected to be done soon.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 6, 2014
I don't use buffoon lightly. Everything he does makes me giggle. He hits all the right buttons. He steals when he shouldn't with the players who shouldn't. He bunts when he shouldn't with the players who shouldn't, and then he'll ask them to bunt again. He's constantly doing silly in-game things, both with the pitching staff and lineup, and I don't get the sense he's a Ron Washington-type, where you overlook a lot of the in-game stuff because his players would chew scorpions for him.
Or, to put it another way, I'm pretty sure I'd rather have Felipe Alou as my manager. Alou was my least favorite Giants manager since I've been paying attention, and it wasn't particularly close. But the thought of watching Mattingly get tangled in the strings every danged game would give me the chills. Or if he's doing it for the Dodgers, replace "chills" with "my jollies."
I give Bruce Bochy a hard time because its my job. But that's like finding plot points you don't like in A Bug's Life. You can do it, but there's a big picture of quality worth remembering. Bug's Life is an awesome movie. Maybe Bochy is Cars to you, or maybe he's Toy Story. Pick your affinity for him and match the movie up accordingly. But you're probably pretty okay with him and the job he's done, even if you're a complete cynic.
Mattingly is Planes.
The Dodgers are giving an extension to Planes.
I love this. Really, there's a debate about how much difference a manager can make over 162 games, and the nerd consensus seems to be "not as much as a lot of people think." But if Mattingly can cost his team a game, one lousy game, over a full season, this is still excellent news. We'll take it. The Dodgers have all sorts of advantages right now. I hope I'm right about Mattingly not helping the Dodgers because the Giants need all of the not-help the Dodgers can get.
One more time, with feeling:
Just don't bring up the time Bruce Bochy wrote the wrong lineup in. That was a clerical error! A clerical error, I tell you!
Pretty sure there's an extension waiting for the G.M., too, Dodgers. If you think about it, he does put the team together. Seems pretty important. Food for thought.