"I like our talent," Mattingly said, while jerking his head from side to side to avoid eye contact. "I like what we can be."
At least he still remains a dreamer.
IS IT ME? I remember getting a similar reaction from Davey Johnson when he managed a crummy Dodgers team.
Johnson manages the Nationals now, but he was the Dodgers skipper when I took over Page 2 and he said, "I'm never going to speak to you again as long as I am manager of the Dodgers."
I wrote the next day, "I hope I can wait the three weeks."
The difference between Johnson and Mattingly? I'm pulling for Mattingly's players to perform better and reward his faith in them with the kind of results that will make it tough for the Dodgers to dump him.
WHEN I began Page 2, I asked the question in my first column: If F.P. Santangelo can enter a room with a sign over the door that reads: "Players Only,"' why can't I?
Never one to laugh or hit, a grouchy Santangelo was soon gone.
Now he's a broadcaster for the Nationals, much like Steve Lyons for the Dodgers. Much like Lyons.
What a great country this is.
RUSSIAN RADIO? I received an email while with the Angels in Chicago from the producer of the Travis Rodgers Show on Angels Radio AM 830 requesting a Tuesday morning interview by telephone.
I agreed to be available at 8:25 a.m.
Then I received a Tuesday morning email from the producer saying, "We have a time conflict. Would love to catch up another time up the road."
I replied, "Time conflict or too much criticism of Moreno?"
Never heard back, but I did tune in at 8:25.
Rodgers was doing a monologue on Lane Kiffin's desire to be a high school coach one day, and how he might soon get the chance.
I might've asked Rodgers had I been on, "Who lasts longer, Kiffin or Mike Scioscia?"
Maybe that's the timing conflict they were talking about.