Mattingly was on brink of losing job

The SportsXchange

If the Los Angeles Dodgers had failed to change the direction of their season, Don Mattingly likely would not still be around as their manager.

Mattingly said before Tuesday night's game against the St. Louis Cardinals that he met with team president Stan Kasten in late May and was told a change could be coming without a quick turnaround.

The Dodgers managed to right the ship after a 30-42 start and vaulted to the top of the National League West standings. They're one of the hottest teams in baseball now and Mattingly's job is more secure.

"Stan was really honest. He didn't want to do anything, but he said, 'Donnie, at some point I got to do something,'" Mattingly said. "I understood it. I was fine with that. I understand. At some point you need a change of voice, a different voice. If they're not listening and it's not going good, you got to be make a change just to make a change.

"You could be doing the best job you could possibly do and it wouldn't make a difference. I get it. I got that."

The Dodgers dropped 12 games below .500 on June 21 before winning 32 of their last 40 games. Their 15-game road winning streak, the longest in the National League since 1957, was snapped Tuesday night with a 5-1 loss to the Cardinals in St. Louis.

"It wasn't that much fun, but it's OK," Mattingly said of feeling the heat when his team was struggling. "Being able to compartmentalize it and not taking it personal. You take it personal that your team is not playing well, but you understand it's a business.

"I understand that's the way it is. If the team doesn't play well, the manager usually gets it, and when the team is going good, the guys are playing great."
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