DON Mattingly? Even if you know as much about Major League Baseball as most Americans know about the Sheffield Shield the name might ring a bell.
Mattingly was one of the superstar baseballers hired by Monty Burns for his nuclear power plant’s softball team in an episode of The Simpsons.
Mattingly’s famous response after being sacked by Burns for not shaving off his sideburns, despite not having any? “I still like him better than (George) Steinbrenner.”
Even in the US, where “Donnie Baseball’’ is a Yankees’ legend, Mattingly is still reminded about his animated likeness.
“I spent my whole career in New York but when I came to LA I was getting a lot of people saying, ‘Hey Mattingly, shave off those sideburns’,” he says.
But as Australians will soon find out, Mattingly is now more than a popular culture icon and Yankees’ hitting machine. He is manager of the LA Dodgers, who could boast the biggest payroll in baseball — they have $US243 million committed to just 23 players — when they play the Arizona Diamondbacks at the SCG on March 22-23.
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