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Don Mattingly as the next Dodgers' skipper? Nah — try Tim Wallach

Aug 20, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

Joe Torre is going to announce his career intentions around Labor Day. My guess is that he’s going to retire. Everyone’s assumption is that Don Mattingly is the heir apparent. Bob Nightengale says think again:

The assumption is that Don Mattingly is heir apparent to replace Joe Torre,but AAA manager Tim Wallach is looming as favorite.

He doesn’t give us any additional context, but knowing how Nightengale rolls (i.e. pretty responsibly and reliably), I’m going to assume this is based on conversations with Dodgers front office people.

The advantage of Wallach over Mattingly? Managerial experience, I’d presume. I don’t want to overstate Mattingly’s recent gaffes as fill-in skipper — they were kind of freaky things — but you can’t ignore them either. More importantly you can’t ignore the growing sense around baseball that front offices prefer guys with some experience running a team. First-time manager stock is at an ebb these days.

Wallach has been the skipper of the Dodgers’ AAA team for a couple of years now. He was the PCL manager of the year last year. Maybe more importantly, he was more directly hired by the Dodgers front office than Mattingly — who sort of came as a package deal with Torre — really was. If Torre goes, so goes Mattingly’s biggest backer, one presumes.

  1. BC - Aug 20, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    Always liked Wallach. Also always seemed to come in handy as a late-round fantasy baseball pick that people forgot about and could rake for a stretch, I had him on my team at least five or six times. Hope he gets the job.

  2. Philip P - Aug 20, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    As a Dodger fan, Wallach is my choice. If they go with Mattingly I fear they will regret the move much like they did when they ignored Scioscia. Plus, with Wallach you may get a new coaching staff and considerign the issues of this season, a change would do the team some good. Better to try a new set of coaches than to jettison some great but problematic talent.

  3. Mike garner - Aug 20, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    As a Yankee fan, I always felt that his following Torre to L.A. was more of a resentment move against the Yankees and Brian Cashman for hiring Joe Girardi instead of him, as opposed to him having some affection for the Dodger organization. He rode Joe’s coat tails into L.A. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t all that interested in the managerial gig there anyway. Especially with the whole Mr. & Mrs. McCourt Dog & Pony show going on.

  4. Old Gator - Aug 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    Maybe it’s time that Mattingly decided to go back to the hustings, rolling up his elbows, and learn to manage a team or two in the minors. I get the feeling he thinks he’s just going to segue into a managerial job in the show based on his on-field record.
    Personally, I think he’d be a great replacement for Jerry Manuel. A couple of years under Minaya and he’d be ready to manage in the majors.

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