Don Mattingly was and is one of the most popular New York Yankees in that team’s history, he is also one of the most popular baseball players of all time, and now after spending several season under Manger Joe Torre, Mattingly says he is ready to Manage a MLB team of his own. While Mattingly greatness as a player will always be a hot debate among MLB enthusiasts it is very hard for a star player to become a great manager. Far too often in baseball, and really in all sports, once great players become very mediocre coaches and tarnish their legacy. In other sports Wayne Gretzky and Isaiah Thomas immediately come to mind. In baseball players like Alan Trammel have tried to make the transition form great player to manger of their teams with less than stellar results.
Most great baseball managers were just average baseball players. Torre himself is a great example of that as is Sparky Anderson, and Buddy Bell. This is where we can debate Mattingly’s greatness. Due to back problems Mattingly’s career was cut shirt. He played just 14 seasons, and he put up most of his numbers in just six of those seasons. In terms of the Hall of Fame his career numbers in every major stat category come up short. He had 2,153 hits, 222 home runs, 1,099 RBI’s, and a career batting average of .307. He was an excellent defender, but never played in the World Series.
As a MLB Coach he has gotten the best education one could get, he has been on Joe Torre’s staff for six years. He served as Hitting Coach for the Yankees from 2004-06, and spent 2007 as Torre’s bench coach. When Torre Moved to the Dodgers, he brought Mattingly along as his hitting coach. Many thought Mattingly would get the Yankees job when Torre left, but they turned to Joe Girardi. Now Mattingly says he is interested in the Cleveland Indians or Houston Astros manger positions. That move may very well be further fallout from the Dodgers owner divorce that is certain to wreak havoc on that organization.