News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

The Peterson Principle

By Tim Peterson

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Don Mattingly can’t swing the bat. Don Mattingly can’t take the mound. Mattingly can’t take his old  position at first base and Mattingly can’t do anything about the wave of injuries that has beset the Dodgers the first two months of the season.

Yet despite all that don’t be surprised if Mattingly is shown the door before the All-Star break. He was spared being the ax last week he still wasn’t given a vote of confidence. He’s the manager…for now. He’s in charge…as long as things turn around. He’s the guy…but we won’t be extending his contract. The Dodgers have made that clear.

Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier aren’t hitting, the bullpen’s a mess and other than Clayton Kershaw, the starting pitching is inconsistent. But you can’t fire the players and when you’re shelling out as much dough as the Dodgers are, somebody’s going to pay.

How did the Dodgers respond after reports that Mattingly would be gone by Friday night. They lost two out of three to St. Louis including a 5-3 loss on Sunday with Kershaw on the mound. Unfortunately for Donnie Baseball the end is near.

Mike Scioscia was seemingly headed towards the same fate when the Angels suddenly turned things around. They have won eight straight and with the Dodgers on the schedule for the next four games it can only get better.

If the Angels sweep all four games or even win three of them Mattingly could be gone by the end of the week.

Speaking of fired coaches who would have guessed that Vinny Del Negro would be canned before Mike D’Antoni? Del Negro just led the Clippers to the best record in their history. D’Antoni led the Lakers to possibly their most disappointing season in history.

Del Negro led the Clips to back to back playoff appearances while D’Antoni’s club barely slipped into the playoffs before being embarrassed in the first round. So who gets the boot? Del Negro of course.

Do you know that one of the names being mentioned to replace Del Negro is Alvin Gentry? Really? Haven’t we seen that act before?

Phil Jackson isn’t interested and the Van Gundys aren’t coming. Byron Scott hasn’t had enough success and Lionel Hollins will re-sign in Memphis. Brian Shaw?

As for the Lakers problems bringing Jackson back would be a great start. No, not as head coach but as Team President. I get sick of hearing people say that the Lakers need to separate themselves from Jackson. Why? He’s brought them five championships. Okay, maybe he’s not interested in working the sidelines but is there anybody else that knows how to run a basketball team better? He knows what works and when he brings in a new coach he can run Jackson’s philosophy. Sorry but D’Antoni isn’t that guy.

I’m not a big San Antonio Spur guy but if you didn’t know it before isn’t it crystal clear now that Greg Popovich is the best coach in the league? Memphis has the two best big men in the NBA and the Lakers have Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard. The Clippers won 17 straight this year with Blake Griffin and the best point guard in the league with Chris Paul. But when the dust settles it’s the Spurs who are the best in the West. Most “experts” had them fifth or sixth coming into the season. Popovich’s run as coach should rank among the best ever.

I’m still picking Indiana to beat Miami in the East. So with that being said plan on the Heat advancing to the NBA Finals.

Did you know that Karah Hernandez hit .450 this season while playing shortstop, second base and centerfield for the Rosemead Lady Panthers? Great stories aren’t always reflected in wins and losses. More to come on Karah this week.

That’s my principle.

Tim can be reached at

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News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.
The Peterson Principle