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The Dodgers were contractually obligated to give Mattingly the job

Sep 17, 2010, 9:49 PM EDT

We now turn to the latest bit of evidence showing that the Dodgers couldn’t manage their way out of a paper bag. Dylan Hernandez reports the following:


Before the start of this season, Mattingly had signed a deal that guaranteed him the manager’s job if Torre stepped down.

Look — I’m not going to quibble too much with the choice of Mattingly as the Dodgers’ manager. He’s a great guy by all accounts. While he hasn’t managed, he’s been the right-hand man of a Hall of Fame manager for the last several years.  He may very well do a fine job there and, because I loved him as a player, I really hope he does.

But what kind of an organization binds itself into hiring a guy via a contractual succession clause like that?  What if the reason Joe Torre stepped down was because the entire team turned on him in a clubhouse revolt? The Dodgers would then have to either install Mattingly nonetheless or else buy him out, likely at a premium over and above what he would have been paid.

Or maybe that’s really it: maybe they locked Mattingly in like that because Mattingly agreed to do the job dirt cheap. I haven’t seen any reports of his salary yet — though I have heard that the deal is for three years — but perhaps it’s peanuts.

But apart from rank parsimony, there is no business or baseball justification that I can think of for pledging to hire someone like the Dodgers apparently pledged to hire Mattingly.  If the Dodgers have one, I do wish they’d share it with the rest of us.

  1. StottsEra - Sep 17, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    im not defending it, but it happens in college football all the time

  2. Ditto65 - Sep 17, 2010 at 10:24 PM

    I am happy for Donnie baseball, but a part of me vomits every time I see him in Dodger Blue…

  3. Kevin S. - Sep 17, 2010 at 10:25 PM

    In college football, it’s done to keep a top coordinator from leaving a big school for a head coaching job elsewhere. Will Muschamp isn’t gonna leave to take over at Directional State University when he knows he’s got the Texas gig once Mack Brown retires.

  4. StottsEra - Sep 17, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    mack brown could of had the auburn job

  5. StottsEra - Sep 17, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    i mean will mushchamp

  6. Glenn - Sep 17, 2010 at 10:35 PM

    Any time that you get a chance to lock up a guy with almost no experience, but who had major blunders in his few times at the helm, I say you do it.

  7. Cantankerous - Sep 17, 2010 at 10:49 PM

    Other guys who never managed but were Joe Torre’s right-hand men: Lee Mazzilli, Willie Randolph.
    Good luck Dodgers!

  8. Proudly Canadian - Sep 17, 2010 at 10:49 PM

    Absolutely! They must have used the same high priced legal team that has the ownership tied up in knots.

  9. Kevin S. - Sep 17, 2010 at 10:57 PM

    Exactly – the ‘coach-in-waiting’ tag kept him away from it.

  10. aft53 - Sep 17, 2010 at 11:21 PM

    I wonder they shared this contractual obligation with Tim Wallich (Dodgers AAA manager). He is now probably gone. At this point, anything McCourt does is circumspect. Do the fans a favor, follow Peter O’Malley’s advice and sell the Dodgers.

  11. NYYCaptain15 - Sep 18, 2010 at 1:53 AM

    I would LMFAO if Mattingly wrote on a paper napkin “I resign as MGR of the LAD, sincerely DM.” As a Yankees fan, I say keep Donnie the Jinx on the West Coast where he belongs.

  12. walk - Sep 18, 2010 at 2:49 AM

    Let him manage for a day. Fire him the next if it is an issue.

  13. ScubaGolfJim - Sep 18, 2010 at 3:14 AM

    “But apart from rank parsimony, there is no business or baseball justification that I can think of for pledging to hire someone like the Dodgers apparently pledged to hire Mattingly. If the Dodgers have one, I do wish they’d share it with the rest of us.”
    Kinda like a broadcast network making a personnel decision of a number one rated show in its time-slot five years ahead of time? Yeah. Both of those were highly intelligent moves weren’t they?

  14. Lou Stools - Sep 18, 2010 at 8:59 AM

    The Dodgers have poopy pants.

  15. yankeesgameday - Sep 18, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Mattingly has been a player or coach in the major leagues for something like thirty years right?
    Everyone knows that baseball managers really don’t affect the outcome of games like, say, football coaches. The most important thing a manager needs to be able to do is keep the guys motivated over a long season, handle egos, and know when to go the the bullpen.
    Once Mattingly stops making mistakes with the lineup card and doens’t go to the mound twice in one visit everything else is easy so it really doesn’t matter that the Dodgers locked themselves into a managerial contract with him. He knows the game and players like him. That’s all you really need.

  16. Pisano - Sep 18, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    Well said , anything other than Yankee pinstripes is inappropriate .

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