The Dodgers, under this new front office, do NOT honor normal working hours. Last year, they announced the Matt Kemp trade at like two in the morning.
This morning, at 6:16 PST, CBS’ Jon Heyman reported that Don Mattingly will not be returning as Dodger manager in 2016. They’re calling the decision mutual (like splitting up with a s/o is “mutual”), as Mattingly would be entering the final year of his contract next year.
ESPN reported that the Dodgers offered Mattingly an extension past this season and he declined it.
"But after years of uncertainty about the Dodgers’ long-term commitment to him — Mattingly has worked under two different ownership groups and two different general managers — he informed the team earlier this week that he preferred to move on.After a week of discussions with the Dodgers, sources indicated that Mattingly simply felt he’d be more comfortable working for a front office and ownership group that had hired him, instead of constantly trying to adapt to someone else’s vision."
It’s understandable and it brings some sympathy to Mattingly. who has been on the hot seat seemingly since he was hired before the 2011 season. While he was far from a fan favorite, Mattingly became the first manager to lead the Dodgers to three consecutive playoff appearances.
However, the Dodgers have long been one of the more talented teams in baseball with nothing to show for it, as these last three seasons has produced one postseason series victory. They’ve gone to the playoffs nine different times since the last time they were in the World Series, which is an unfortunate record tied with two other teams.
October 8, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly (8) during workouts before game one of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Donnie was not the best tactician out there, but reports indicated he was loved in the locker room and that he kept the team together through a lot of rough patches with egos colliding. His time with the Dodgers will not be remembered for his on-field coaching decisions, but rather for keeping the team from killing one another every night. Despite his shortcomings, he was highly respected and will likely be coaching another team next year (smart money’s on Miami).
Mattingly being gone isn’t much of a surprise, but it will be interesting to see what comes of the rest of the coaching staff. Rick Honeycutt has been the Dodgers’ pitching coach since 2006, Mark McGwire has been their hitting coach since the 2013 season, and Tim Wallach has been coaching in the Dodger organization (hitting coach/minor league coach/third base coach/bench coach) since 2004. There’s a chance they’re all retained, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see an all new coaching staff come in next year.
Early replacement names popping up on twitter dot com include the usual suspects. When the Dodgers hired Ron Roenicke as their third base coach last year, many thought it was a matter of time before he became the Dodger manager. Bud Black, Alex Cora and Dave Martinez would probably be on my wish list as well. If your wish list includes Mike Scioscia/Matt Williams/Dusty Baker, please reevaluate your life. I don’t want Dusty getting his pitcher-killing paws on Julio Urias and Jose De Leon, Williams is living proof that “manager of the year” awards are pointless, and Scioscia hasn’t been a good manager in like 10 years.
Weirdest. Breakup. Ever.