Despite some non-commital comments toward one another after the National League Championship Series loss by the Los Angeles Dodgers led by manager Don Mattingly, it appears both sides are ready to move on to 2014 with Donnie Baseball honoring his 2014 contract. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times indicated via his Twitter account, that both sides are confirming.
Don Mattingly will return as #Dodgers manager next season. His agent said so. Now, team president Stan Kasten is saying it, too.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) October 24, 2013
More details were unfurled later in a LA Times article by Hernandez in which both sides seemed to be extending the olive branch:
Dodgers president Stan Kasten was confident Mattingly would be back. “I’ve always thought that [he was coming back next year]. I’ve never had any doubt about that,” Kasten said.
As alluded to in the Tweet, Mattingly’s agent also confirmed in less rosy language:
“He’s under contract. He was able to say his piece at the press conference and he’s looking forward to continuing his relationship with the Dodgers,” Mattingly’s agent, Ray Schulte, told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Mattingly was putting out language that he felt underappreciated (via Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com):
“When you’re put in this situation, the organization basically says, ‘We don’t know if you can manage or not,'” Mattingly said. “So, that’s the position I’ve been in all season long, so that’s not a great position for me as a manager. That’s the way it is, that’s the way the organization wanted it last year, that’s fine.”
Mattingly had a 2014 vest by reaching the NLCS, therefore before that point, it was unsure if he’d be brought back. Combined with the fact that the Dodgers were extremely disappointing in the first two months of the season, sitting at 23-32 through June 2, the day in which they called up prospect Yasiel Puig. In July and August, the Dodgers went 42-12 and made those times long forgotten, and suddenly Mattingly was off the hot seat and into the Cat Bird seat.
With a ballooning payroll, the Dodgers window appears to be here and now. I can’t think of a better candidate to lead the club (some thoughts of Girardi were bantered about and squashed). The way the Dodgers season went, it definitely appeared to be the health of the ballclub (injuries to Carl Crawford, Hanley Ramirez, Zack Greinke, and MVP-runner-up Matt Kemp) that hindered the ball club any more than Mattingly did. Watch for the team to look out for greener pastures if available, but stick with Mattingly long term when it’s all said and done.
– David Whitlock