Steve Dilbeck questions the Dodgers’ fascination with coach Don Mattingly over Albuquerque manager Tim Wallach at Dodgers Blog, and I can’t say I don’t share it — only I might frame as “Why Don Mattingly and no one else?”
The answer is that Mattingly would theoretically carry forward the success that Joe Torre has had, but should we really feel so certain that Mattingly, for better or worse, is Torre II?
… Mattingly has never managed. Wallach, who led Albuquerque to the playoffs last season and was named the Pacific Coast League manager of the year, will return to the helm of the Isotopes this season.
Does any of this sound familiar? Echoes of Mike Scioscia, perhaps?
When Tommy Lasorda finally stepped down, the Dodgers named coach Bill Russell to succeed him in 1997. Scioscia was a bench coach. When Russell was ousted in the middle of the ’98 season, Glenn Hoffman was named manager. When Hoffman was fired at the end of the season, Davey Johnson took over.
Scioscia, who in 1999 managed at Albuquerque, was passed over one time too many, resigned and then went onto become one of baseball’s finest managers for the Angels. …
… Wallach also said he sees no problem with Mattingly’s inexperience as a manager.
“He’s a baseball guy,” Wallach said. “He’s been Torre’s bench coach. I mean, I can’t even imagine how much he’s learned being with Joe all these years. If that’s how it works, I got … he’s a baseball guy. I think he’ll be fantastic.
“I’m getting experience to someday hopefully manage (in the majors). I would love it to be here, but if it’s not here, I appreciate the opportunity. I love the Dodgers. I always come back to the Dodgers. But they’re giving me an opportunity and I’m very happy with the opportunity.”
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Heralded Cuban import Aroldis Chapman is scheduled to pitch for the Reds against the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch on Friday.
Update: Brian Giles has retired. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details.