LOS ANGELES (AP) — Don Mattingly isn't in immediate danger of being fired as manager of the last-place Los Angeles Dodgers, with team president Stan Kasten saying none of the players are asking for his dismissal, either.
"I do expect things to turn around. I expect Donnie to be here for a long time," Kasten said Friday before the Dodgers lost 7-0 to NL Central-leading St. Louis in the series opener.
"I understand there is another side of that if things don't go well. I don't think of things like that. I don't look at things that way. I choose to believe we're going to be fine."
Mattingly is in the third and final year of his contract, with no extension on the table.
"This is not a guy who the players are trying to get rid of. These players are not coming to the front office and saying, 'Please get this guy out of here,'" Kasten said. "It's the opposite. This is a group of guys who love and respect Don. And I think this latest plea for a greater sense of urgency will be well received. I hope it is. It should be."
For his part, Mattingly didn't appear worried about his future.
"If your team doesn't play well, someone is going to go and it isn't going to be them," he said. "It's all about how we play. That's the only thing I really stress over."
The Dodgers are last in the NL West, seven games behind first-place Arizona. They have a 19-27 record, having lost five of their last seven, despite a $215 million payroll and a talent-laden lineup that has struggled offensively.
"By far we're not out of it," Andre Ethier said. "If we can work our way back into it by the All-Star break, it should be someplace we want to be."
Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez have started to come around. Crawford is hitting .302 with five homers and 13 RBI, and Gonzalez is batting .319 with four homers and 29 RBI.
But All-Star sluggers Matt Kemp and Ethier have not. They combined to go hitless in six at-bats Friday, with Kemp striking out twice.
"It's really not the way you envision coming back home and getting the home stand started," Mattingly said about the loss.
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