LA Dodgers part ways with Manager Don Mattingly

October 22, 2015

In a release issued today by the team, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Don Mattingly have "mutually agreed" that Mattingly will not return to manage the club in 2016.

Mattingly led a franchise with a $300 million payroll to the NLDS this season, but was unable to get the team into the World Series.

Dodger President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, General Manager Farhan Zaidi, and Senior Vice-President of Baseball Operations Josh Byrnes, met and talked extensively with Mattingly for several days following the conclusion of the season.

“I’m honored and proud to have had the opportunity to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers,” said Mattingly in a statement. “I’ve enjoyed my experiences and relationships with the organization’s staff and players throughout my eight years in L.A. After meeting with Andrew, Farhan and Josh, we all felt that a fresh start would be good for both the organization and me. We talked about several scenarios, including my returning in 2016. However, I believe this is the right time and right move for both parties. I’m still very passionate about managing and hope to get the opportunity in the near future. In the meantime, I want to thank the Dodger organization, the city and our fans for the opportunity and wish the club well going forward.”

Mattingly was brought in under the old regime and got the team into the playoffs on multiple occasions.  Each of those squads had its flaws on paper -- no fault of Mattingly's -- whether it was shaky defense, a weak bullpen, or limited starting pitching depth.  When the Dodgers were eliminated from contention each year, much of the blame, fair or not, fell on Mattingly.

Part of the reason for all the scapegoating was the perception that Mattingly was a poor manager of in-game situational baseball.  Mattingly had no prior managerial experience before getting the job, so many believed his on-the-job training was holding the team back.

One thing he did excel at however, was dealing with personalities in the clubhouse.  A former star player himself, Mattingly understood how to manage egos, and remarkably was able to hold things together during one earlier season in which he was a lame duck manager.

“As our end of season process began, we discussed the past year, our future goals, necessary changes, roster needs and other matters relating to next year’s campaign,” said Dodger President, Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman in a statement. “As the dialogue progressed daily, it evolved to a point where we all agreed that it might be best for both sides to start fresh. We decided to think about it for a couple of days and when we spoke again, we felt comfortable that this was the direction to go. I have the utmost respect for Donnie and thoroughly enjoyed working with him this past season. I want to thank him for his hard work and collaboration, as well as his accomplishments, including three consecutive National League West titles. I wish him nothing but success in the future.”

Under the new Friedman front office, Mattingly appeared to be receptive to their analytics-based suggestions, as he employed defensive shifts far more than in past seasons.  One particular shift backfired and likely cost the Dodgers their season, however, when the Mets' Daniel Murphy caught the Dodgers infield asleep at the wheel and stole a key base in Game 5.

One likely reason for the split, in addition to the postseason exits, was that Mattingly reportedly was seeking a significant contract extension, which apparently, the Dodgers were not willing to give him.

One of the candidates reportedly in the hunt to replace Mattingly is former Padres manager Bud Black.

By Staff of and news services

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