It all began with an innocent question about the offseason moves made by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson to mega free agent deals. Don Mattingly, manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was more focused on his own squad.
"It's kind of like the Mets and the Yankees. The Yankees are the team. No matter what the Mets did, they're going to have their years that they play well, but the Yankees are the team," Mattingly said. "I don't want to bad mouth the Angels at all, and I know Mr. Moreno does a great job down there in Anaheim and Mike [Scioscia] does a great job, but we're the Dodgers, and that's not going to change."
This was in the morning meeting with reporters, before the first full squad workout for the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. Within an hour, it was on the front page of ESPN.com and had spread all across talk radio like wildfire.
After the workout, Mattingly was told his comments had gone national, and he had some more fun at the Angels' expense, saying, "I kind of like the Rally Monkey. I try to tell guys, 'You should like the Rally Monkey.' When the Rally MOnkey comes out, it means you have a lead."
The tone that Mattingly had was a playful one, and he even went out of his way to praise owner Arte Moreno and manager Mike Scioscia. But just from a geographic standpoint, there is still only one team in Los Angeles.
Matt Kemp agreed, adding, "There's only one team in Los Angeles, the L.A. Dodgers."
The important thing to remember from Mattingly's comments on Tuesday is that he doesn't have time to focus on what other teams are doing, because running a team consumes enough time in its own right.
"At the end of the day, if we do things right, worry about ourselves and take care of our business, we don't worry about what another team is doing," Mattingly said.
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