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.