Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Dodgers, Don Mattingly part ways

Don Mattingly went 446-363 as Dodger manager. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Don Mattingly went 446-363 as Dodger manager. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Eight people have managed the Dodgers since their last World Series in 1988, and soon there will be a ninth.

Here’s this morning’s announcement:

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Don Mattingly have mutually agreed that Mattingly will not return to manage the club in 2016.

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.

“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 Friedman. “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.”

“I’m honored and proud to have had the opportunity to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers,” said Mattingly. “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’s five seasons match Jim Tracy as the longest tenure for a Dodger manager since Tommy Lasorda, who like Mattingly was 49 when he managed his first game with the Dodgers.

Now 54, Mattingly leaves with 446 victories as a manager, third in Los Angeles history behind Walter Alston and Lasorda, and sixth in franchise history (Wilbert Robinson, Leo Durocher and Ned Hanlon lead the Brooklyn contingent). Among those who managed at least 500 games, Mattingly’s .551 winning percentage is fourth behind Burt Shotton, Durocher and Alston.

Mattingly was a warm, friendly person to see down in the dugout every day, and my best wishes to go to him as the Dodgers move forward on their own path.


Dodgers claim pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla


Deconstructing the departure of Don Mattingly


  1. oldbrooklynfan

    I believe Mattingly wanted a World Championship like most of the Dodger fans, but I would think he became tired of the everyday grind without the proper end result. I wish him the best of luck wherever he goes from here.

    • Well, he better be ready for more everyday grind without results. Don’t know any team with openings now that would have a better chance than the Dodgers. Nats?

  2. After the final loss to the Mets, reporters asked him what went wrong when Murphy stole third. Mattingly blamed Corey Seager.

    At that moment, I decided to stop defending him. I always considered him a poor field strategist, but I also felt that, like Lasorda, he won in the clubhouse, and that made up for his strategic ineptitude. But when Greinke was asked about the play, he gave the answer Mattingly should have given if he was really a players manager and committed to protecting a rookie from criticism: that several people could have covered third, and those several people blew it.

    And to think: last winter, we could have had Joe Maddon. I don’t think anybody is going to say that Maddon blew the playoffs, any more than Mattingly did. But the front office can’t be fired for giving him Kershaw and Greinke and three days of hankies, or for Puig being injured, or for the bullpen being far less successful than its statistics indicate.

  3. Am neither delighted or disappointed by this announcement. He may have chafed a bit at the direction he was getting from the FO, but he may have also seen the writing on the wall with Greinke possibly departing. It will only get harder for the Dodgers to meet the expectations of winning it all, not easier. The players liked him for the most part even though his strategy and lineup construction left something to be desired at times. Dodgers need someone who can handle the younger guys like Pederson and Seager and still hold the vets. Hope it isn’t someone inexperienced like Kapler, just because he happens to be on the same page as Friedman. It’s not about philosophical issues, it’s about getting a guy who respects analytics, understands strategy and can motivate. Torey Luvullo ?

  4. I predicted this way “parted mutually” mid-season. It saves face for everyone. It was pretty obvious he had lost the clubhouse in the last few months. From Kershaw’s “we need to play desperate” pled, to their rant in the dugout. Plus Etheir’s ” shut up and manage” to Mattingly’s throwing Seager under the bus.
    Enjoy Miami or Washington Mattingly.
    My guess is Gave Kapler as next manager with Dave Martinez as bench coach. I also hope Roenicke is back as third base coach, and Honeycutt as pitching coach. Need a new hitting and first base coaches though. McGuire’s phylosophy not working and Lopes seems burnt out at 70 to teach base stealing.

  5. It never ceases to amaze how much people throw on the internet with the knowledge that it’s just going to stick.

    Count me as one who liked Don Mattingly. He was much better strategist than either Torre or Tracy. His lineups didn’t bother me at all.

    • I’m with you, koufazmitzvah! Donnie did the best he could with what the front office gave him. IMNSHO, Friedman blew it when he traded Dee Gordon. No one could predict the injuries to so many key players.

      In addition to signing a new manager, the Dodgers should focus on improving their pitching, both the starting rotation and the bullpen. Kershaw can’t pitch every day.

      • As much as I liked Dee, that trade didn’t turn out so bad for the Dodgers. Hatcher and Hernandez = Success. I feel the FO failed at the July deadline, although from what I gathered, most trades demanded either Seager or Urias. In which case, I agree with keeping the former and can only hope the latter is worth the pain of watching the Mets beat us in 5.

  6. jpavko

    I am anxious to see who the Dodgers hire as a replacement. The first time I hear the names Ron Roenicke or Tim wallach, everyone gets fired!

  7. I do not share the consensus of views voiced already. I have been screaming on other “listserves” since last year that the Dodgers will never win with Mattingly as Manager. I am delighted Mgt believed in he three strikes and your out, And it wasn’t even the Cardinals that took out the Dodgers this year

    The Yankees knew what they were doing when the chose Girardi over Mattingly. Look at what Girardi did with few major leaguers on his roster this year-just fell short. No I am not a Yankee lover. Being a Dodger fan since 1940 like others in my age bracket I am violently anti NY Yankees

    I will sleep well tonight knowing there IS hope for next year

  8. oldbrooklynfan

    I dread the day a Mattingly team beats us in a post season series. I see it coming.

  9. No guarantees in baseball. Of the names banded about at the trading deadline in terms of pitching, their performances in the playoffs (to date) have been Hamels (0-1); Price 1-2, ERA 6.80; Cueto1-1, ERA 9.00)

  10. When the front office statistics geek(s) tell the manager who should be in the lineup, who should come in to pitch in relief, etc., the manager becomes an errand boy carrying out front office’s wishes. If the stats guys want to run the team, let them manage. I may be wrong, but I do not believe any other manager in baseball lets the front office dictate on field decisions. Don Mattingly may have made some poor decisions, but if those decisions were the result of the front office guys, Donnie should be the scapegoat. That being said, “Where is Dusty Baker?”.

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