LOS ANGELES -- With the White Sox and manager Robin Ventura in town for a three-game set at Dodger Stadium, manager Don Mattingly said he thinks it's pretty cool to see first-year managers like Ventura finding early success with the job.
Also noting first-year Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, Mattingly said it's neat to see former players get chances similar to what he was given last year when he took over the Dodgers' job despite not much managerial experience.
"He's in first place over there," Mattingly said about Ventura. "We're in first place over here. Matheny's club is doing well. It's kind of cool that guys are getting that kind of opportunity."
"If you look at Robin, he's a guy that's been around baseball his whole life," Mattingly added. "He's a good baseball guy. With Matheny, it's the same thing. He's a good baseball person. We're trying to get the best out of our guys."
With former players getting these sorts of early opportunities, Mattingly said the key is trying to bring in a certain tone and environment to the clubhouse that encourages guys to play their best baseball.
Ventura, who finished his playing career in Dodger blue, has the White Sox in first place in the American League Central with a 34-29 record before Friday's tilt. In Mattingly's first season, he led the Dodgers to an 82-79 record.
"I look forward to seeing Robin and a couple of the boys over there," Mattingly said. "But you prepare for their team and you really try to execute your own stuff. It's almost impersonal with the other guy over there trying to understand what kind of club he's got and get a feel for their team."