It’s been a disappointing first quarter of the season in Los Angeles, for both the Dodgers and the Angels.
Both teams have huge payrolls and big expectations in 2013, and both are struggling. They both won on Wednesday, however — the Dodgers are 19-26 after a win at Milwaukee on Wednesday, and the Angels are 19-27 after beating Seattle.
But there’s a long climb back to the top of their divisions, especially for the Angels, who are already 10.5 games behind the Texas Rangers. And the Dodgers, with the largest payroll in history, look like a fantasy team on paper but have little actual chemistry on the field. Only the Marlins have scored fewer runs, and this is a team with Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford. Kemp has hit just two home runs.
On Wednesday before the game in Milwaukee, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly seemed to be ready to crack.
It’s not just all, ‘Let’s go put an All-Star team out there and play games, and the team with the All-Star team wins,’ Mattingly told reporters. “… All grit and no talent is not going to get you there, and all talent and no grit is not going to get you there. There’s got to be a mixture of both.”
The Dodgers are off on Thursday, returning home. It would almost be a shock if the team didn’t make a move.
Wrote USA Today’s Bob Nightengale: “Mattingly will be baseball’s first manager to be fired this season. He knows it. The players know it. And, yes, the front office is bracing for it.”
And over in Orange County, Angels owner Arte Moreno gave Mike Scioscia a vote of confidence last week.
“Mike has zero problems, OK?” Moreno said to FoxSports.com. “This is his 14th year. Mike goes beyond what he does on the field. He’s a good person. He’s a good person in the community. A very good baseball guy. You don’t have to ask me. You just ask other managers, other baseball people. Look at 14 years’ worth of productivity. Look at his record. He has two World Series rings with the Dodgers. He has one with the Angels. We’ve been to the playoffs.”