Dodgers' Don Mattingly offers little clarity on mind-set and future

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Don Mattingly wouldn't reveal Tuesday what drove him to insinuate he might step down as the Dodgers' manager seven weeks ago — or what made him reverse course and agree to honor his contract.

Speaking in front of a group of reporters for the first time since he complained about his lame-duck status and practically demanded a contract extension, Mattingly tried to deflect questions about his future.

Mattingly offered no clarity about his predicament or mind-set, other than to say he and the Dodgers have talked about a new deal.

"At this point, it's not worth talking about," said Mattingly, who is under contract for only next season.

Team President Stan Kasten had previously attributed the comments made by Mattingly at that October news conference to a misunderstanding. Kasten didn't offer any details at the time, saying he would leave it to Mattingly to explain what happened.

Presented with the opportunity to do that, Mattingly said, "I think that day I was fairly clear. Like anything else that's happened with me in the past, you talk about it and you don't continue to talk about it. I don't think anybody really wants to hear about my situation. They'd rather hear about the players, what we're trying to do, how we're trying to win. "

He was told fans probably wanted to know.

"Again, I think it's something that you may think they want to hear it," Mattingly said.

Mattingly said he spoke to Kasten about his situation, as well as owners Mark Walter and Todd Boehly.

Asked how those conversations altered his view of his predicament, Mattingly replied, "Just being able to talk and express how you feel about stuff."

Mattingly wouldn't even confirm he still wanted a contract extension.

"I don't think people want to hear about me," he said.

On whether he and the Dodgers could reach an agreement on a new deal this winter, Mattingly said, "I'm happy with the way everything's going. I know Ned doesn't want to talk about it, Stan doesn't want to talk about it. I don't think talking about it publicly is going to do any good."

Mattingly was reminded he previously said he didn't want to return as a lame-duck manager.

"Again, I don't want to keep going into it," he said. "I'm comfortable right now."

Why is he comfortable?

"I just am," he said.

Mattingly was asked whether he felt wanted.

"Seriously?" he asked in return.

At his last news conference, Mattingly sounded uncertain whether the Dodgers' decision-makers thought he was the right person to manage the team.

"Again, everything I've said that day is still the same," he said.

So, Mattingly is still uncertain?

"Everything I said that day, I'm not backing off anything I've said," he said. "I don't want to talk about it anymore."

Twitter: @dylanohernandez

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