Lets face it, the Dodgers may have won the West the last 3 seasons with Don Mattingly at the helm, but for some reason cant reach the World Series, despite how talented and ready the team is. The last two seasons, LA has been beaten in the first round of October, and many blame it on the lack of performance from the bullpen. In the National League, pitching is most essential, especially the pen, as the pitcher hits, therefore the manager pinch-hitting meaning that a new guy needs to be brought in. In result of the Dodgers losing efforts in in the first round against the Cardinals and Mets, much of the blame has been put on manager, Don Mattingly, for his poor use of the pen. Whether it was last post season when he left Kershaw in too long costing the Dodgers a potential trip to the NLCS, or the 140+ earned runs given up by the bullpen this season, Mattingly has been criticized multiple times about how he manages the pitching staff. Now days, the bullpen is critical for making a run at the title, so in order for the Dodgers to be crowned sometime soon, a new manager is needed.
There are a few really good replacements for the Mattingly if he is to be fired. Ron Washington may be no Bud Black when it comes to managing pitching, but he did a fine enough job with the Rangers’ staff to lead them to the Series two years in a row from 2010-2011. Bringing in Washington is not the only move the Dodgers need to make on the coaching staff, but it’s a start.
Recently the Dodgers hired two money ball men to head the front office in Farhan Zaidi and Andrew Friedman. The GM, Zaidi, was one of Billy Beane’s right hand men in the early 2000’s, while Ron Washington was the infield coach. Washington was considered a big key in the A’s moneyball scheme, despite him being called old-fashioned once in a while. Ron was given credit to developing Eric Chavez and Miguel Tejada into gold glovers, and teaching Scott Hatteberg how to play first base. With the Dodgers new front office leaders already putting the Dodgers on a moneyball type path with the improvement of the defense, Washington will feel at home if hired.
Washington also does a fine job with team chemistry, by not putting up with bullshit. Back in 2007, there were rumors that he and Mark Teixeira didn’t get along, that Tex wasn’t listening to Ron about a certain style of play, so Tex was traded. This proves that Wash can put a team on the leash if needed. And soon enough, he was taking the Rangers to back-to-back WS appearances. Despite lack of super talent on the pitching staff like the Dodgers have, he was able to develop guys like Colby Lewis, CJ Wilson, and Neftali Feliz into the leaders on the pitching staff. Ron has experience as a player and coach, while understanding the type of direction the Dodgers are heading in. But, he will need some help.
If the firing of Don Mattingly becomes a reality, then the bench coach needs to be fired as well. With that said, current 3rd base coach, and former NL Manager of the Year, Ron Roenicke, would be the perfect fit for the role. Ron grew up playing ball in Cali and was actually a coach for the Dodgers back in the early 2000’s. He is yet another guy who understands this team’s direction. As far as the pitching fix, Rick Honeycutt was never the man for the pitching coach job, so he needs to go as well. That will leave the Dodgers with an easy task, if this man decided to take the job. Yes, it is hard to step down from manager, but if Roenicke can go from manager to 3rd base coach, then Bud Black can become a pitching coach. With the talent the Dodgers already have, a mix up in the staff will lead the Dodger to a WS title.