Dodgers came close to firing Don Mattingly

USA TODAY Sports

Don Mattingly could have been fired earlier this season, had his team not forgotten how to lose.

The Dodgers came close to firing manager Don Mattingly during the team's poor play earlier this season, reports Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles.

The team has won 32 of its last 39 games, and is now six games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Mattingly has an option for 2014, but he said that his contract has never been an issue for him. He said that he is able to "understand it's a business."

"Stan was really honest. He didn't want to do anything but he said, 'Donnie, at some point I got to do something,' " Mattingly said. "I understood it. I was fine with that. I understand. At some point you need a change of voice, a different voice. If they're not listening and it's not going good, you got to be make a change just to make a change. You could be doing the best job you could possibly do and it wouldn't make a difference. I get it. I got that."

Dodgers president Stan Kasten approached Mattingly in May to tell him the team would move in a different direction if they did not start having better results. It would take until late June for those results to start to come, but the team has not looked back since then. Mattingly's 2014 option is now almost a lock to be picked up, and the manager is likely in line for a contract extension.

The Dodgers are 62-49 this season.

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