According to ESPN Los Angeles, the Dodgers and manager Don Mattingly are finally discussing a long-term deal. Things didn’t leave off on very good terms between Donnie Baseball and the Dodger’s front office. Mattingly entered the 2013 season in the final year of his three-year contract. Although he did have a vesting option year which kicked in once the Dodgers defeated the Braves in the Division series this October.
Mattingly in his third season as Dodger’s manager guided the team into the playoffs for the first time in his managerial career. Mattingly had to overcome injuries, and a terrible start. The Dodgers were in last place on June 22 before going on a historic 42-8 run leading them to the NL West division championship, and the club’s tenth NLCS appearance in franchise history. Mattingly has also been nominated for NL Manager of the year.
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After the season, the club refused to give him a long-term contract instead offering to only pick up his option year. Mattingly was pissed, and stated that he didn’t want to manage as a lame duck anymore. Donnie Baseball said that if the Dodgers didn’t know by now, then they should let him go, and go with someone else. We all knew that would not happen.
As much as we complain about Mattingly, there really isn’t many other better options out there. I say better to stick with the devil we know, then someone we don’t know. Would you really want Ozzie Guillen? If you get frustrated when Mattingly says an occasional bonehead comment then you would hate Guillen who makes stupid comments every day. There isn’t anyone else good out there. Dusty Baker??? He does a lot of similar things, like bunting, and questionable bullpen management. No thanks. And yes Manny Acta uses sabermetrics, and that’s a great thing, but unfortunately he’s been a lousy manager for years, never having managed a winning team in his life. I’ll stick with Donnie Baseball.
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And apparently so are the Dodgers, who are finally talking turkey. Despite the club losing to the Cardinals in the NLCS (in 6 games), the Dodger brass are happy with Mattingly. The club has supported Mattingly since day one, and are now prepared to give him that contract he’s been whining for.
Mattingly had said that he would honor his contract and return to manage the Dodgers in 2014, before the two sides started to discuss a new contract, according to sources.
Of course the Dodgers just recently canned his friend and bench coach Trey Hillman. According to reports Tim Wallach will take over as bench coach, and it remains to be seen who will take over in the third base coach’s box. The rest of the coaching staff will return intact for the 2014 season.