Looks like the Dodgers have a new manager:
- Joe Torre will announce later Friday that he is stepping down as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers after the season, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed this morning on the condition of anonymity. As has been speculated from the moment Torre was hired almost three years ago, the club also will name hitting coach Don Mattingly to succeed Torre as manager.
Mattingly has never managed at any level, but he is slated to manage in the Arizona Fall League after the season, an assignment that is far different from managing a major league club during the regular season because it is a league that exists primarily for showcasing prospects from a handful of different organizations.
I'm not wild about it.
The Dodgers presumably know more about Mattingly than I do. Maybe things would have been even worse this year if not for his steadying presence. I just wonder how they can possibly know what he'll do, when responsible for 25 different personalities.
Worse, this strikes me as the last, desperate move of an owner who's trying to hang on to the past. Frank McCourt, at heart an Easterner, couldn't buy the Red Sox or the Yankees, so he bought the Yankees' manager. Now the Yankees' manager is leaving, and McCourt is turning to the most beloved Yankee between Thurman Munson and Derek Jeter.
It's absolutely possible that Don Mattingly is the best man -- or at least one of the 20 best men -- for the job.
Considering the process, though, and McCourt's current circumstances, does it seem likely?
I suspect Mattingly won't last long. Perhaps only until McCourt is forced to sell the franchise and the new owner installs a new general manager who installs a new manager.
Of course I could be wrong.
Update: It's official, as the Dodgers have issued a press release confirming Mattingly's promotion.