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Mattingly doesn't want critique to cause a rift

Mattingly doesn't want critique to cause a rift

DENVER -- Don Mattingly said Sunday he was not trying to distance himself from his players when he issued critical comments about their play on Wednesday.

"As the manager, you always have to take responsibility for your club, no doubt about it," the Dodgers manager said. "But what is going on this year is no different than what was going on last year. It's not like it's a brand-new thing. My job, and the coaches' jobs as leaders, is to stay positive but make adjustments.

"I definitely don't want to separate myself. The manager, at the end of the day, the wins and losses goes on the pitcher and manager's record. Guys need to be accountable, but it falls back on me. That's OK. There are a lot of quality guys in there, capable guys, and we'll go as far as they take us. The manager and coaches really don't have control. It's the players' game, I've always believed that, and we'll go as far as they take us."

Mattingly dismissed the suggestion that last year's turnaround was fueled by the arrival of Yasiel Puig and the return to the lineup Hanley Ramirez's hot bat.

"I think that's a little overplayed," he said. "We haven't been winning. There are expectations, the big payroll, L.A. It's all part of the deal. Our job is to get rolling, but nothing is not salvageable. I'm confident we can do that."

Asked if he felt the players still listen to him, he said: "You hope, right? Certain guys will listen, certain guys won't. I do know a majority of guys are wanting to win and have the same feeling. We all want that. I don't think that's a problem."

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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