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Dodgers respond to Mattingly's critique

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Dodgers respond to Mattingly's critique

DENVER -- With nearly two days to digest manager Don Mattingly's brutally candid opinion of their play, several key Dodgers responded Friday.

Matt Kemp said he couldn't argue with Mattingly's opinion -- which can't be written here, but loosely translated to crummy -- but disagreed that there's a chemistry problem in the clubhouse and noted that there are 101 games remaining, plenty of time for the Dodgers to rally, as they did last year.

"This ain't panic-mode time," said Kemp. "Still a lot of time. People panic, they pick up bad habits. We all get along. We're all on the same page, just not executing. We've got to get it going.

"Chemistry comes when you win. You play bad, everything bad gets under the microscope and blown out of proportion. I'm not worried about where we are. We can play better. We all know we've got to play better."

Adrian Gonzalez said one reason for the club's inconsistent play is the lack of a set lineup, although Mattingly indicated better performances lead to set lineups.

"The biggest thing now is that roles aren't set," Gonzalez said. "We had a consistent lineup every day [last year], and everybody knew what their role was. Now everybody is trying to figure out what their role is. To have a winning team, everybody has to know their role to focus and succeed."

Mattingly said a set lineup "sounds great, but we just can't do it," in large part because players like Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier have underperformed offensively, while Carl Crawford, Juan Uribe and A.J. Ellis are on the disabled list.

"I think we'll end up with a set lineup," said Mattingly. "We need to get Carl back. Last year we didn't play with a set lineup. I would agree from the standpoint that if you get going in the right direction, you don't switch guys all over the place."

Mattingly moved Ramirez to the second spot in the batting order on Friday night to "try to get him rolling."

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

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