Dodgers react to MLB takeover

Los Angeles Dodgers players and managers reacted Wednesday to Major League Baseball's takeover of the team's day-to-day operations:

Manager Don Mattingly

On how he found out that MLB had taken over team operations:

"Just working out, seen it on the TV, probably like most everyone else."

On whether he was surprised:

"Yeah, I was surprised because you don't think about it. But, really, this shouldn't affect us at all. They're still not going to have any control over if we make good pitches or get good pitches to hit or we make plays. It shouldn't have any effect on what we do on the field. I'm sure there will be a little more media attention over the next few days and maybe over the next few months, but still, it shouldn't have any effect on how we play."

On how he sees it affecting the everyday operations:

"My understanding is that there really is no change for me and what I'm trying to do or what we're trying to do as a ballclub."

On whether the Dodgers might be restricted in player movements:

"I don't know, but I saw the Texas situation last year and seeing them get Cliff Lee late in the year, seeing them pick [Bengie] Molina, seeing them pick up [Jorge] Cantu; I watched all that happen. I don't know how this is going to happen, but I did see what Texas did last year. They were acquiring players."

On the fans:

"What we say to [fans] needs to be said on the field, really. We go out and play this game the way it's supposed to be played. … If we go out and put a winning streak together and make sure we stay in this race and have a chance to win it, they aren't going to be talking about anything but that."

Center fielder Matt Kemp

On Frank McCourt:

"He's a great guy, and I have nothing bad to say about him.

"You know, things happen. That's his personal thing. I don't like to get into people's personal situations. I'm sure everything will get taken care of and everything's going to be all right."

On MLB's decision to take over team operations:

"All I can control is what I do on the baseball field. I can't control front-office stuff and things that are going on up there.

"I don't want to go anywhere else. This is what I know, being a Dodger. I've been here, been with the Dodgers for nine years. I got drafted by them. This is all I know. All my friends are here. I have a lot of friends out here in L.A. This is where I want to be. But, like I said, you never know what happens. I can't control any of that stuff."

On how he heard the news:

"I was watching ESPN. On the ticker down at the bottom. I saw that."

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti

On whom he reports to:

"I don't know yet. I don't have any answers. This is all still fairly new. I haven't heard from anybody from Major League Baseball."

On what the future holds:

"The Rangers last year went to the World Series and acquired Cliff Lee and Bengie Molina. I don't think this is in place to hinder the Dodgers."

On whether this is a dark day:

"It's certainly a historic day. You never like to see things like this happen. But I don't think I know everything and I'm assuming the people that make these decisions know far more than I do. … It's not a good day. It's just not when you have turmoil within an organization like this."

On the message from management:

"We told [the team], this doesn't affect you guys. Your responsibility is still to play hard and concentrate and focus on what you do. I'm sure Major League Baseball isn't trying to hurt the Dodgers or derail the franchise. It certainly didn't derail Texas."

Former general manager Fred Claire

Initial thoughts on news:

"It's a very sad day for a very proud franchise."

On whether this is a step in the right direction:

"I hope this is a step in the right direction. There are clearly a number of issues that have to be addressed. … This is the start of some resolutions and a better overall direction. I don't say that as related to the team performance, because in fairness to Frank and Ned and others, if you look at the record [of] the team recently, they've had competitive teams, they've won divisions and their attendance has been good. These are issues that go beyond all of that."

On restoring the team to past prestige:

"In my view, it's about restoring the Dodger organization to what it was once all about while recognizing times have changed. The best of judge of this is how the fans feel about the team. In the years I was fortunate to be associated with the Dodgers, from 1969 to 1998, it was a period of time that some years were good years and others were not as good, but if you look at it during those 30 years, the Dodgers could match up with any team in baseball. … It was more than that. It was the feeling that the fans had about the team. The fans are the best judge of that."

On the Dodgers moving forward:

"I want to see the team get back to where they were where there's total acceptance by the fans on all sorts of levels and there's that emotional connection. This has to do with the heart and soul of a ballclub."

Right fielder Andre Ethier

"This team, this organization, the players are protected by Major League Baseball. There's going to be a Dodgers team no matter what. We're going to go out and play and do our job. The fans deserve to have a good team and a good product out there. We're going to still keep fighting and playing as hard as we can."

On whether the ownership situation has been a distraction:

"It's unfortunate what the organization and the team is going under the last couple of years; there's a lot of people in the city and the fans who want to see a good Dodgers organization, a good Dodgers team and be proud of it. I know there's a lot of players in this locker room that want to make this come true for the fans in this city, the die-hards that want to be here every day for us. There's nothing we want to do more than win and make them proud of us."

On Frank McCourt:

"People fall on bad times; they fall on misfortunes in life. It's tough to see people go through that, and someone who definitely gave me a shot in the big leagues and has been part of something that's been special for me, which is my big league experience. It's tough to see someone go through that."

Starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw

On MLB's decision to take over team operations:

"It obviously doesn't affect anything that we're doing. I guess it's good. I don't know anything one way or another as far as the situation with Mr. McCourt and what's going on. And I really don't know what it means that baseball is taking over the Dodgers."

Catcher Rod Barajas

On MLB's decision to take over team operations:

"It's disappointing because we hold this organization up there with any other in sports. For them to be struggling, it's not what we want here.

"I don't think it's going to affect us. We're all going to get paid, regardless. It's just playing baseball. … I think what we do on the field has nothing to do with what goes on off the field. … We don't want this controversy to be going on, but at the same time, it's baseball. We go out there and play our game. This doesn't affect any of us personally."

On the O'Malley family's ownership:

"From what I've heard, it was a lot of fun to be a Dodger back then. For me, it's a lot of fun to be a Dodger now. I've heard great things about the O'Malley family and the way they ran things. I came in here and didn't know what to expect but I've had a great time here.

"I think the people that have been around the Dodgers' organization for 20, 30 years, they're used to things getting run a certain way. I'm sure those are the people that are blogging and are hoping that things kind of go back to the way they used to be."

Ramona Shelburne, Blair Angulo and Arash Markazi contributed to this report.