Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

We Might Want to Chalk This "W" Up to Mattingly

Was last night’s win over the Phillies the result of a “make up” call by home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn?  I certainly believe it was a possibility.  I’m almost ready to credit the victory to Dodger manager Don Mattingly.  He certainly played a role.

Mattingly ejected by Mike Dimuro, last season (AP Photo)
One of the traits of Joe Torre that absolutely infuriated many was his lax attitude when it can to defending his team and arguing with umpires.  Some thought he was simply more mature and he picked his spots.  I on the on the hand thought there were times that he wasn’t out there defending his ball club when he should have been in the umps faces.  It led many to question his passion and desire.  Well, there’s no lacking of that with Don Mattingly.
There is no doubt that  Mattingly is seen as an easy going and level headed man, but don’t screw him over.  He won’t take it.  Don’s personality gives him more credibility when he actually mouths off to the men in blue, because it leads credence to the justification of his position.  God bless Tommy Lasorda, but his credibility with the umpiring community may have suffered because he was out there all the time.  With Lasorda, the reaction would be "Tommy, are you out here again?"  You can actually argue too much, and Tommy had a tendency to do that.  

Last night’s game was the third that Mattingly has been tossed from this year.  

Mattingly and Tim Welke, after the 1st base umpire called out Jerry Hairston at 1st base in Colorado, May 2, 2012
Mattingly definitely has his team’s back.   A few weeks ago he made comments to Ken Gurnick at mlb.com about umpires getting calls right and how they should be held accountable.  “You get tired of it after a while,” he said following an ejection against the Cardinals on May 18th.  “They’re not paying any attention and it’s not even close.

 Gurnick's MLB.com article linked here

He’s spot on right.  The fire in Mattingly is one of the reasons that he has the Dodgers playing as a team.  Though nobody will admit it, I believe he got in home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn’s head last night.  After getting tossed for some awful ball/strike calls, (and there were a lot of them), Reyburn called a bordeline pitch in the Dodgers favor to Dee Gordon in the ninth.  The result was the rattling of Papelbon and the leadoff triple that Gordon laced to the right centerfield wall on the next pitch.

Reyburn ejects Mattingly in last night's action.  (photo by Reuters)
Had Mattingly simply sat back and not given Reyburn some lip, (resulting in his earlier ejection from the game),  it is possible that Papelbon’s pitch to Gordon would have been called a strike.  The situation may have been one of those “make up” calls to even things out.  No one can be certain, but it certainly is a possibility.

Kudos to our manager.

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