Dodgers focused on field with sale complete

Dodgers focused on field with sale complete

Dodgers focused on field with sale complete
DENVER -- Reaction in the Dodgers' clubhouse about the news that the club was officially sold on Tuesday was subdued, in part because the players and staff were already introduced to the new ownership group before Sunday's game at Dodger Stadium.

"All the guys we met seemed nice," said manager Don Mattingly. "We had a short talk. A lot of stuff has been written, that they want the Dodgers to be first class and be as good as we can possibly be. They say they're committed to taking the Dodgers to that level."

Mattingly, who played for only one owner, George Steinbrenner, in New York, said he wasn't worried about working for an owner who didn't hire him.

"You're always auditioning, every day," he said. "I don't feel any more pressure. I'll tell you what I tell the guys, that you should put so much pressure on yourself to perform that you should be the most disappointed if you're not doing your job. You should know it first, before anybody says it."

Adam Kennedy is one player who has played for new Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten when they were together in Washington. Kasten also ran the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers.

"I know this: the team is at the top of his thoughts," said Kennedy. "You know that's how he won championships with other organizations."

Kennedy said Kasten was able to develop relationships with all players, while providing special attention to the ones who carry the club.

"I've talked to Matt [Kemp] and Andre [Ethier] about that," Kennedy said. "I saw how close Stan was with Adam Dunn, and I can see that relationship developing with Matt and Andre. Stan cares for everybody, but he also knows who's the face of the franchise and who will take the team to the next level."

One of the first priorities will be to get Ethier's contract extended, as general manager Ned Colletti has been saying since the winter. Ethier, who thought he had an extension worked out a year ago only for it to fall through, will reserve judgment.

"It's nice to have a new start with what's going on up top to blend with how we're playing on the field," Ethier said. "Dodgers fans should have a lot to be excited about, especially after what's happened the last couple of years. It's important that we figure a way to make that come to life on their end upstairs and on our end on the field."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.