With the Dodgers reeling, Don Mattingly's job status seems to be a hot topic.
On Sunday night, Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports speculated that Mattingly is as good as gone and will be fired eventually, possibly as early as this week.
Though Rosenthal was careful to couch his terms to suggest he was just speculating, Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk believes where there is smoke there is fire and that Rosenthal has some inside information, perhaps not concrete enough to report in a news sense.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times got the on-record denial from the club, reporting the Dodgers have "'no plans' to fire Manager Don Mattingly when the team returns home Thursday or any time before then, a club official said late Sunday night."
Chad Moriyama addressed the issue of the Dodgers needing a manager with more fire, noting, "I can’t honestly believe that anybody thinks that Mattingly yelling at the team will reset Ethier’s aging curve, or loosen up Matt Kemp‘s shoulder, or magically work to prevent injuries, so what people really want is making a move just for the sake of making a move."
Mike Petriello at Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness is understandably sick of the speculation, and noted if there is one good reason to let Mattingly go, "it’s because I’m absolutely sick & tired of talking about whether the team is/should/will/are going to fire Don Mattingly."
Mike Axisa at CBS Sports predicts that Mattingly will in fact last the week, so he's got that going for him. Which is nice.
Dayn Perry at CBS Sports rightfully turned the blame spotlight on general manager Ned Colletti, arguing that giving Brandon League $22.5 million for three years was his worst deal.
Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts can't tell if the Dodgers are racing to the bottom or the top, but is not ready to give up hope just yet. He made a fantastic point about the bullpen:
Staffing a bullpen has always, fascinatingly, been Ned Colletti’s simultaneous strength and weakness. Colletti has had a knack for finding capable non-roster talent (Takashi Saito, Ronald Belisario) over the same years that he has invested multiyear deals in such inconsistent arms as Matt Guerrier and Brandon League. There is no correlation in the Colletti tenure between salary and performance, yet the expensive signings continue.
On the field, it turns out League wouldn't have been asked to record a six-out save on Sunday. Mattingly told reporters that if League had survived the eighth inning, Matt Guerrier would have pitched the ninth inning, not the most comforting fallback option. Guerrier is the only pitcher in history to record exactly one save in six consecutive seasons (2006-2011), though his streak was snapped in an injury-plagued 2012 campaign.
Scott Van Slyke, who hit both of the Dodgers' home runs last week, fouled consecutive balls off his left leg in the seventh inning on Sunday and had to leave the game (video here). Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported that x-rays on Van Slyke's leg were negative, and noted, "Van Slyke said there was no fracture, although it was "pretty sore" having fouled the pitches 'an inch apart on the same ligament.'"