Manager: Don Mattingly (fourth season)
General Manager: Ned Colletti (ninth season)
Managing the 2014 Dodgers could be a blessing and a curse for any skipper.
One one hand, the team is loaded on paper. There's the defending NL Cy Young Award winner on the mound twice a week and a five-tool talent like Yasiel Puig in the lineup every day.
On the other hand, somebody has to deal with the high-priced egos, the extra outfielder situation and the overwhelming media scrutiny in a city like Los Angeles.
Considering the circumstances, Don Mattingly has done an exceptional job with his ballclub, and he receives an A- grade so far this season.
Although his in-game tactics are sometimes called into question, the bottom line is that Mattingly led the Dodgers to within two wins of the World Series last season and has an excellent opportunity to advance even further this year.
This season, he successfully navigated the dilemma of having four—and sometimes five— outfielders for three spots. Matt Kemp wasn't getting the job done in center field, so Mattingly booted him to left field and then to right. When Andre Ethier wasn't producing like he had in years past, Mattingly sent the $15.5 million outfielder to the bench.
Mattingly gave starter Dan Haren one more chance to prove himself after a disastrous July, and the right-hander answered the bell, turning in two straight victories since.
As for general manager Ned Colletti, he too receives an A- rating.
The Dodgers' record sale a few years ago immediately infused the franchise with enough money to spend unabashedly.
Colletti was able to dive deep into his suddenly vast pocketbook and came up with the likes of Adrian Gonzalez, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Yasiel Puig. Of course, when a team has that much money, the tendency is to throw it at any and all players in order to woo them aboard.
Although Colletti has done so at times, he has also strategically held back on other occasions—most notably during the recent David Price sweepstakes.
Colletti understood where his first-place team sat at the trade deadline and did not feel the need to make a deal. Of course, Price would have been a flashy prize. But at what cost?
Teams really only need three starting pitchers in the postseason, and Los Angeles already had Kershaw, Greinke and Ryu to fit that bill. Plus, the Dodgers kept all of their prized prospects as the organization attempts to foster the resurgence of a promising farm system.
All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.