Don Mattingly’s interesting week continued on Saturday night. Just days after leaving Andre Ethier out of his lineup in Milwaukee while strongly insinuating that he felt Ethier wasn’t among the hardest worker competitors on the team, he made another strong statement by electing to remove all-star center fielder Matt Kemp during a seventh inning double switch in their game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Now, you may be thinking that’s not exactly a big deal. Players get double-switched all of the time. That's true, but it doesn't happen to superstars all that often, and it certainly doesn't happen to superstars late in a one-run game. Mattingly was clearly sending another message, though that was flatly denied in his postgame comments. .
Here's a little more from Beth Harris of the Associated Press:
Mattingly made his second double switch in the seventh, with Kenley Jansen taking the mound and Skip Schumaker replacing Kemp in center field. A clearly frustrated Kemp returned to the dugout shouting, but Mattingly said he didn't take him out because he's struggling.
''It's tough because you don't want to take to switch one of your guys out but it was the only move I felt I had,'' he said.
The win helped Kemp cool down.
''It had been a bad day for me. I didn't do much to help the team,'' he said. ''That's how they feel. Let them do what they want to do.''
To make matters worse for Kemp, both he and Ethier were booed throughout the game by the frustrated Dodger Stadium crowd. Just a rough day at the office, and I'm not sure a win will sooth things nearly as much as was led on here. I guess we'll have to stay tuned.Read More »from The Juice: Matt Kemp benched late in Dodgers win; Adam Jones stays red hot for Orioles