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Don Mattingly will manage the Dodgers next year

Oct 24, 2013, 8:45 AM EDT

Ned Colletti, Don Mattingly AP

This report was sort of lost last night as it came during the game, but Don Mattingly and the Dodgers have apparently agreed to disagree about his long term future in Los Angeles and will reunite next season for what looks like what will be a lame duck year. Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times reports:

Don Mattingly will return to manage the Dodgers next season. Mattingly and the Dodgers agreed on at least that much Wednesday, as both sides said they would honor their existing contract.

“Absolutely,” said Stan Kasten, the Dodgers’ president and primary decision maker.

Said Mattingly’s agent, Ray Schulte: “Donnie’s always been a man of his word and he’s under contract.”

This contrasts with Mattingly’s position earlier this week, in which he said he wouldn’t come back if the Dodgers merely exercised his 2014 option and did not extend him. This was followed by the Dodgers firing Mattingly’s friend and bench coach Trey Hillman. And it came when there are multiple job openings, including one on the Nationals, where Mattingly was once said to be a highly sought-after managerial candidate. Now, he’s back in Dodger blue. Maybe not peacefully. But he’s back.

One would think that the Dodgers would want to now work on a contract extension with Mattingly. Who, after all, did a pretty darn admirable job holding a team together that looked ready to crumble and had what, ultimately, was a pretty successful season.

  1. jeffbbf - Oct 24, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    Legally, would Mattingly even be able to “quit” if the Dodgers exercised their option, then take another job in MLB for 2014?

    • dan1111 - Oct 24, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      The Dodgers would have to agree to let him out of his contract. I’m not sure what the exact legal situation is, but I don’t think another team would give him another job without their permission, so it’s largely irrelevant.

    • pastabelly - Oct 24, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      I think you answered your own question. The Dodgers excercized their legal rights under the option to renew for one year. Mattingly has no legal right to manage baseball for anyone other than the Dodgers unless the parties reach a new agreement releasing Mattingly.

  2. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Oct 24, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    The worst the Dodgers could really do is sue Don for breach of contract. But if he really, really, wanted out, I’m sure there are plenty of ways for him to get out of L.A.

    • dlf9 - Oct 24, 2013 at 9:36 AM

      In theory, the Dodgers could sue Mattingly and recover the difference in cost between what he would have been paid and what they have to pay his replacement, plus any ancilary costs such as headhunters (I was shocked when I learned how much collect football coach placement relies on placement agencies), out of pocket expenses for candidates, etc. Of course we see managers quit not infrequently (see for example Leyland earlier this week) and teams never, ever, ever sue. Unless Charlie Finley or Calvin Griffith return from the grave, we never will.

      • dlf9 - Oct 24, 2013 at 10:00 AM

        “College” not “Collect” football coaches — Since I refuse to proof read, I really need that edit function!

  3. MyTeamsAllStink - Oct 24, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    wow,the Dodgers just showed their muscle and Mattingly fell in line.Better win the world series next year Donnie baseball.

    • stex52 - Oct 24, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      Do you really think it matters? I think they want him to honor his contract until they fire him sometime next year. Seems like no particular love lost on either side.

  4. bfunk1978 - Oct 24, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    This could just be out of spite and he gets fired in February after all the other managerial roles are filled. Especially if they want to hire from within, they don’t have to worry about managerial candidates.

  5. xmatt0926x - Oct 24, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    I don’t know why Mattingly would quit even without the extension he wants. He could be blocked from managing another team by the Dodgers and at the end of the day he’s likely in a no-lose situation with the Dodgers next season.

    At the very least they should be a 95-100 win team. Even if they don’t win it all and they don’t keep him, he leaves with two straight winning seasons and a pretty good reputation intact. He’ll then be able to get a job elsewhere with a multi-year deal.

    • apkyletexas - Oct 24, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      @xmatt0926x – “At the very least they should be a 95-100 win team.”

      Based on what?? The Giants came into this year with arguably a better team and a WS title under their belt, and fell to 76-86. The Angels bought up every free agent available the last few years, and had a 78-84 record this year. The Phillies trotted out three perennial Cy Young candidates, and ended up 73-89.

      What could possibly guarantee a winning season for a Dodgers team that was 12 games under .500 June 21st this year?

      • stex52 - Oct 24, 2013 at 12:28 PM

        Or, while we are at it, how about the stellar predictions for the Nationals and the Blue Jays, who many saw meeting in the World Series? There is no surety in the MLB.

      • byesac - Oct 24, 2013 at 5:49 PM

        Arguably a better team?

  6. glenuendo - Oct 24, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    So you have the team president that essentially and the manager that, for all intents and purposes, can’t stand each other and the manager in a final year of his contract. What could possibly go wrong with that?

    • gloccamorra - Oct 24, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      Mattingly and Colletti are good friends. You shouldn’t assume that Colletti is calling the shots here, he’s a McCourt holdover, just like Mattingly. Stan Kasten will eventually bring in his own GM and manager, and Ned and Don both know it.

      • gloccamorra - Oct 24, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        I left out my key point, that Kasten and Mattingly don’t hate each other, but Kasten is just starting to rework the Dodgers organization, and obviously doesn’t view Mattingly as a long term answer.

  7. koufaxmitzvah - Oct 24, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Part of the thing is that the Dodgers have a policy about not making decisions like this until after the World Series. I’m sure Donnie wanted some sort of assurance about a contract situation from Ned before the press conference; and like his agent said, Donnie said what he had to say.

    From my perspective on the couch, this was a loose team that liked each other, coaches included. If the bench coach is the trusted adviser, and the problem are moments of strategy, and the bench coach doesn’t necessarily have the most stellar of winning experiences, then it’s fair to shake things up. The last 3 seasons have had the same nucleus of Honeycutt-Wallach-Lopes and now Big Mac. Retaining them all says more about Hillman than it does about Donnie. And I’m sure Hillman is enough of a professional to know that (despite the sting of being let go).

    Stan Kasten is still a bit of an enigma to me, but I don’t think anyone in the organization truly minds the upward direction the Dodgers have taken since being rid of the McCourts.

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