There was a pretty cool article about Don Mattingly on the New York Times’ website today, and you know I’ll take any chance I get to post about Hitman.
In it, Karen Crouse talks about the McCourt’s divorce, the Dodgers’ offseason acquisitions, Mattingly’s ability to manage and his haters, Ronald Belisario’s failure to get a visa, the infamous haircut episode with Stump Merrill and the biography about #23 that comes out in March…which I plan to read the hell out of.
Here are some excerpts:
Mattingly, when asked if the McCourt’s divorce will affect the team:
"Not at all. This is a great franchise. We’ve got talent. For me, I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity.There’s been no talk about the ownership situation. There’s no effect in that clubhouse."
Mattingly, when asked about his managerial philosophy:
"They can’t see you panic. The worst thing for me as a player was when I struggled and the coach treated me different: He likes me when I’m going good, but he doesn’t want to talk to me now that I’m going bad. The last thing I’m going to do is panic when they struggle, which is going to happen in the course of a season. I know they don’t want to go 0-for-4 at the plate or give up a lot of runs in the early innings. As long as they’re putting in the work and the effort’s there, I’m going to have patience."
Mattingly talking about if he’ll pull a Stump Merrill:
"The only thing I have with hair is if it gets in the way. If you can’t see the ball, then it’s a problem.I’m not concerned about peripherals unless it’s a problem. I’m concerned that we’re ready to play."
Mattingly, when asked about his book:
"I don’t know why I need to read it, really. I basically lived it."
Mattingly talking about Bobby Knight, who was apparently a major influence:
"Bobbby to me is a lot like Ted Williams. Ted was big and bold and ran the show…Bobby’s a lot like that. He dictates the conversation. You listen more than you talk."