Don Mattingly and the Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to see other people. The manager for the Dodgers for the last five years is leaving, with the decision being described as mutual according to CBS' Jon Heyman.
It's hard to know if this is a good thing or a bad thing for the Giants, not yet. While Mattingly's decision-making was often hilarious and Giants-friendly, the real value of a manager is in the clubhouse and getting players through an interminable slog of a season. I don't know how well Mattingly did that.
Plus, you don't know who the Dodgers are going to hire. It could be someone far worse. It could be someone far better. It could be Dusty Baker, which would be grossmazing!
My hunch is that the Dodgers will be better off. Mattingly might have a future managing a gaggle of younger players, or he might work well with a plucky band of low-cost upstarts, but he never seemed like the type to wrangle in $300 million worth of expectations and egos. Probably because almost no one is that type. The Dodgers will have to have something of a Manhattan Project to find the right mix of tactics and genius, and the right manager might not exist at the moment. It's going to be a fascinating search, especially considering that four other teams are looking for managers right now.
Last year I wrote about how Mattingly had the worst job in baseball, and I stand by that.
His reward? Three or four rounds of playoffs, where anything other than a series win is a complete failure. The playoffs are where Pete Kozmas become heroes and Clayton Kershaws become goats. Kershaw's ERA in four NLCS appearances: 7.23. What's Mattingly supposed to do when that happens? If he can't avoid that, though, his job will be in jeopardy.
Expecting baseball teams to win everything is silly. Putting them in a good position to win everything? Not silly. Defining the season as a failure if it doesn't happen? Silly.
This is a team that's supposed to win everything.
Yeah, pretty much. Telling a manager to win a World Series or else is a great way to find out what that "or else" is. Mattingly was never going to win until he won, and there's never a guarantee that the best teams will win, so he was probably never going to win if those were the terms.
We'll always have this:
He wasn't even the manager then. He was the acting manager, which somehow makes it more amazing. By the time he got back to the dugout, the pitcher he wanted to use was gone, the Giants had won three World Series, and he was fired. At least, that's how I remember it.
I'll miss Don Mattingly. Which probably means this is bad news for the Giants. Cross your fingers and hope for someone worse, because it's certainly possible.
Oh, no, Dodgers, I just realized ... please don't hire Giants hero Matt Williams! We wouldn't be able to stand it, and it would hurt morale. Oh me, oh my, please don't hire Matt Williams. I hope no one from the Dodgers is reading this and gets this idea.
i think they bought it