The Los Angeles Dodgers and manager Don Mattingly have reportedly agreed to mutually part ways, ending his five-year managerial stint, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Mattingly, 54, was well-liked within the Dodgers’ organization, Heyman writes. President Andrew Friedman and other higher ranking officials treated the former longtime New York Yankees’ first baseman well, and he was happy. However, despite his positive reputation, the club ultimately decided that it was time to move on.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times confirmed Heyman’s report about the parting of ways being a mutual decision, rather than Mattingly being outright fired.
Source on Mattingly’s departure from #Dodgers: “All in agreement, including him.”
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 22, 2015
In mid-August, Mattingly downplayed that he has any concerns to ESPN Los Angeles about his job security after the team added former Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke.
“All I care about is winning. This is a pretty good job to have. I’m sure a lot of guys who would like it. That’s always the case. Those things are so far down the road, you just worry about winning games. We’re in a pennant race.”
The Dodgers obviously did not meet their desired result this season, which would have been winning a World Series — something they haven’t done since 1988. Yet, Mattingly still led the Dodgers to a 92-70 record, good for their third straight NL West division championship and a winning record in all of his five seasons as a manager.
Heyman mentioned that Mattingly received praise for his handling of the Dodgers’ logjam in the outfield. In particular, his handling of right fielder Andre Either, who appeared to be a prime trade candidate for several seasons. But despite showing keen instincts at times, Mattingly also likely became the scapegoat of a Dodgers team who once again failed to win a championship despite its record-breaking payroll.
In 2015, the Dodgers’ payroll was once again over $300 million, the highest in the Major Leagues. But after key pitchers Hyun-Jing Ryu and Brandon McCarthy went down with injuries and could not be adequately replaced, the team struggled at times. Also, as Heyman noted, the Dodgers are still on the hook for the salary of several players who now suit up for other teams or are out of the league altogether.
Matt Kemp, Brian Wilson, and Dan Haren were mentioned as examples.
By all accounts, Mattingly wants to continue managing, and there are no shortages of vacant managerial roles. For instance, Heyman previously reported that the Miami Marlins, who are currently without a manager following Dan Jennings’ return to the GM role have an interest in Mattingly.
Joe Frisaro of MLB.com confirmed not long after Heyman’s report that the Marlins maintain interest in Mattingly.
— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) October 22, 2015
It sounds like he is their ideal choice, but other candidates such as Dusty Baker, Ron Gardenhire, Bobby Valentine, Willie Randolph, Larry Bowa, and Jerry Manuel were named.
Outside of Miami, the Washington Nationals, San Diego Padres, and Seattle Mariners are all without a manager at this time. But Heyman noted that the Nationals may be in an advanced stage of naming a new manager, therefore making it unlikely that Mattingly ends up in Washington D.C. next season.
Overall in five seasons as manager in LA, Mattingly has led the club to a 446-363 (.551) record. Prior to taking on the managerial role, Mattingly served as a bench coach for legendary manager Joe Torre from 2008-10.
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