Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton was removed from Tuesday’s 9th inning against the Giants when home plate umpire Tim McCelland — coaxed by SF manager Bruce Bochy — ruled LA’s Don Mattingly had made a second trip to the mound that inning when he turned around to answer a player’s question after the initial visit. George Sherrill came in to stink up the joint and allowed all of Broxton’s inherited runners to score, and though Major League Baseball has stated McCelland was in error, that’s not enough to prevent the LA Times’ Bill Plaschke (above) from trashing Donnie Baseball’s (alleged) status as Joe Torre’s heir apparent ; “isn’t it time to forget Mattingly’s New York Yankees pedigree and realize that he would be better off learning his new craft as an Albuquerque Isotope?”
It was the sort of mistake that one can make in Santo Domingo or Chattanooga. It was the sort of teaching moment that takes place in San Bernardino or Ogden.
It is not something that should happen on a mound at Dodger Stadium in the middle of a pennant race.
Grady Little made a similar mistake for the Dodgers several years ago, but at the time he had the cushion of years of managerial experience. Mattingly has no such built-in credibility, especially after something silly like this has already happened to him once this season, while leading a Dodgers split-squad team in a spring training game when Torre was with another Dodgers team in Taiwan.
In his first game as a manager at any level, Mattingly did not check the lineup card filled out by bench coach Bob Schaefer, resulting in the umpires receiving a different lineup than the one in the Dodgers’ clubhouse. The Dodgers then batted out of order, chaos ensued and, well, it was all very understandable for a guy making his debut in Midland.
Not so cool for a guy who could soon sit in the seat once occupied by two guys with plaques in Cooperstown.