As the Los Angeles Dodgers geared up for another postseason run, a report surfaced detailing the Miami Marlins’ interest in Don Mattingly to fill their managerial vacancy that had been filled by general manager Dan Jennings on an interim basis.
Mattingly was on the hot seat for portions of the last three seasons as he managed a team with a high payroll and World Series expectations. The Dodgers were again eliminated in the National League Division Series and it didn’t take long for change to follow.
Less than one week later, the organization and Mattingly agreed now was the best time to go their separate ways.
With Mattingly available, he interviewed with the Marlins and reports were the two parties were in serious discussions for Mattingly to become the next manager in Miami. By early Thursday morning, an agreement on a four-year contract reportedly was reached.
While the move was expected, it was a bit surprising given teams usually wait to make any announcements until after the World Series.
The former Dodgers skipper joined The Dan Patrick Show
show earlier in the week and among the topics discussed were the Marlins’ teal colors, which Mattingly joked would suit him just fine, and challenges with their roster:
“I’m thinking good, but see I feel good all the time about myself. The one thing about the Marlins I think is, again I don’t know what’s going to happen and if this works out or not, it’s just an interesting place because of the young talent they have. And the challenges that it brings with the young roster, with the situation that’s not going to go out and buy players, they have to develop players, and you have to be able to work from within.”
Mattingly also touched on the differences between potentially managing a small market team, compared to managing the Dodgers or playing for the Yankees:
“Like you said I’ve been with some giant payrolls with the Yankees there, what they would do, with the Dodgers, which is major markets is what they do. But I think if the situation were to work out with Miami, the challenges are interesting from the standpoint of having to do it without making mistakes that you make in a bigger market. You got to be able to get your guys to play. You got to try to create depth within your Minor League system. It’s a different challenge and to be very honest that’s really interesting to me at this point in my life and in my career. I am interested in that kind of challenge.”
Mattingly appears set to join a roster that’s headlined by young talents, Jose Fernandez, Dee Gordon, Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich. Injuries to key players factored into the Marlins 71-91 record this season.
For as much talent that may be on the roster, Miami is also an organization that’s cycled through eight managers since 2010. However, what may work in Mattingly’s favor is Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is said to be a longtime admirer of the manager.