Don Mattingly and the Los Angeles Dodgers parted ways Thursday, a mutual decision from one of baseball’s most-storied franchises and their former manager, Fox Sports reported.
Mattingly had compiled a 446-363 record in five years, leading the Dodgers to a winning record every season Don was in control of the team. Mattingly also led Los Angeles to three straight NL West titles, including this season.
When it mattered, Don Mattingly — known as “Donnie Baseball” for his Yankee playing career — didn’t met the lofty standards a new front office wanted. Mattingly won only one playoff series, the NLDS in 2013. Since then, Don and the Dodgers have lost three straight post-season series, including this year against the New York Mets.
Rumors had been swirling this year of friction between Don and the new front office. Ironically, Mattingly was expected to be the coach in 2016, Andrew Friedman, president of baseball operations, said.
“When we started on Friday we expected him to be our manager in 2016. I think that was his thought process also. We agreed to part ways with a guy who is a tremendous baseball guy. We’re going to do everything we can to find a really good leader for us in 2016.”
Who will replace Don Mattingly as the skipper of the Dodgers next year? Here are three names to know in the search for the next manager in Los Angeles.
Dave Martinez, Chicago Cubs Bench Coach
Dave Martinez will be on the short list for every coaching search this offseason, including the one to replace Don Mattingly. The Los Angeles Times ranks him as the top prospect because of his history working with Andrew Friedman in Tampa Bay. Plus, he’s been a bench fixture for one of baseball’s most-successful managers to not win a World Championship yet — Joe Maddon — for nearly a decade.
Martinez was a finalist for the Tampa Bay opening last year after Maddon opted out of his contract. He also speaks Spanish, a plus when dealing with Dodgers star Yasiel Puig and the club’s affinity for Latin American players. His only drawback may be that, like Don Mattingly, this would be Martinez’s first time in charge of a major league club.
Ron Roenicke, Los Angeles Dodgers Third-Base Coach
Ron Roenicke could be the leading candidate inside the organization to replace Don Mattingly. He was hired in August to help Los Angeles address their base-running issues by Mattingly, but Roenicke was on a list of hand-picked candidates given to Don from the front office, according to multiple reports.
Prior to coming to Los Angeles, Roenicke had a five-year run with the Milwaukee Brewers that was highlighted by winning the club’s first division title in more than 29 years in 2010. Roenicke finished his stint with the Brewers with a winning percentage above.500 overall. His familiarity with the roster could be a plus.
Bud Black, Former San Diego Padres Manager
Like Roenicke, Bud Black has several years of managing in the majors. He’s probably as familiar with the Los Angeles Dodgers as Don Mattingly was, having spent nine seasons battling the club while he was the coach for in-state rival San Diego. He’s already been rumored for several openings, including the Philadelphia job before Pete Mackanin was hired.
What would have Los Angeles fans turned off about this replacement for Don Mattingly is his record. Black went 649-713 in his eight-plus seasons, and his team never reached the playoffs. His best squad — the 2010 Padres — had a 6.5 game lead evaporate during September in a historically-bad finish to the season, losing the NL West title to the San Francisco Giants.
[Photo by Harry How / Getty Images]