The Dodgers will head into 2013 with the highest opening day payroll in baseball history, something north of $230 million, but manager Don Mattingly says the Giants are the team to beat in the National League West.
"These guys won two out of three World Series. We think we're good but it doesn't matter what we think. We have to go do something," Mattingly said. "We know we had a good club. But when somebody wins a World Championship and they've got pretty much all of their guys back, you have to look at them as the target. Those are the guys you're after."
The Dodgers host the Giants on Tuesday at Camelback Ranch in the first of two spring meetings between the two rivals, with Josh Beckett facing off against Tim Lincecum on the mound.
Whether or not Mattingly was simply trying to deflect pressure from his own team remains to be seen. Or perhaps he is taking a different path than Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, who said that despite the Dodgers' massive expenditures they can't buy chemistry. Mattingly said on Valentines Day that Belt and the Giants earned the privilege to talk trash.
"They have the right to talk. They have won two out of three, and they can say whatever they want," Mattingly said. "I'm not concerned about our chemistry at all. That's never been the issue. We just didn't play well enough the last 35 days to get in."
Center fielder Matt Kemp wondered why Belt would say such a thing.
Don Mattingly calls Giants team to beat in NL West
True Blue L.A. | Feb 26