LOS ANGELES -- Don Mattingly completed his first fourth of a season as a big-league manager on Sunday.
While reflecting about his time in charge of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Mattingly acknowledged it had been a learning process. He admitted he had a part of Billy Martin, Lou Pinella and Joe Torre in him, but he wants to shine on his own.
"All the managers I have had are a part of me, but I would like to think that I am my own self. I think about things they taught me. I remember all the times I didn't agree with one of their decisions and try to handle those type of situations accordingly," said Mattingly, who took charge of the Dodgers after Torre's retirement.
"In baseball, as in life, you learn new things every day."
Mattingly entered Sunday's game with a 19-21 record, and his Dodgers were 3 1/2 games off the lead in the NL West.
"I think I have done a good job so far," Mattingly said. "But to be honest with you, I don't think about my personal performance. I just want our team to win games."
Mattingly's sub-.500 team has a lot of players in the disabled list, such as Rafael Furcal, Casey Blake, Marcus Thames, Hong-Chih Kuo, Blake Hawksworth and Jonathan Broxton among others, but he didn't use that as an excuse.
"Every team goes through rough patches. Injuries happen to everybody," Mattingly said. "Of course I would love to have every player available. If any manager could have his five starters take the mound all season long, or have all his offensive weapons on the field at all times, he would probably talking about a dream season."
Mattingly said he would rather confront obstacles early in the season, when they can help the team build character. Plus, players who were supposed to have secondary roles can see increased playing time and a big boost in confidence.
The Dodgers' starters have a great start.
"They have kept us in games," Mattingly said. "Hopefully we can get some of those guys back in the near future and keep on getting better."
Mattingly said this first fourth of the season will help him show people what type of manager he is. One thing is for sure: He won't be the type of manager who argues plays emphatically.
"Those are funny scenes. But I am not that type of person. I don't think I need to do that in order for my players to react. My only objective is for players to always come ready to play. I have to do something of that source in order to achieve that, it means we are in trouble. They always have to be ready to play."
Noel Piñeiro-Planas covers the Dodgers for ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com.