In the final year of his current contract with the ballclub, Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly is only focused on the future, not his job.
How could you expect anything less from “Donnie Baseball?” In the final season of his current contract, Miami Marlins skipper Don Mattingly isn’t worried about a contract extension or a new deal. What he is focused on is the offseason, Spring Training and the start of the 2019 MLB season. That is how Mattingly is wired. That’s why he is a popular figure in South Florida, despite three consecutive losing years under his watch as the Marlins manager.
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"As Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote, “No talks about anything moving forward,” Mattingly said on Monday during his media session at the Winter Meetings. “And I think my situation is not really important, to be quite honest with you.“Just more concerned about what we’re doing. Again, building this thing. I’m kind of at a point, old enough, where I’m not really worrying about what’s happening next.”"
At the end of the 2018 season, CEO Derek Jeter was quick to say, Mattingly, who was once a teammate of the Marlins owner when they were both with the New York Yankees, would be back for 2019. He did not speculate on anything past the upcoming year.
There is still plenty of baseball to be played and plenty of growth for this organization from top to bottom.
It’s a potentially difficult situation for Mattingly, who has been one of Jeter’s staunch supporters of changes made to the organization on the major and minor league levels. There is no safety net for him, no reassurances of a future with the ballclub. The Marlins till figure to be one of the worst teams in baseball with a farm system that is growing, but is not on par with the Yankees or Atlanta Braves of Los Angeles Dodgers.
Should the team jump out to a poor start and show no signs of progress, would the front office make a change and go another direction? It’s one of the reasons why I am glad Buck Showalter’s name has not been considered for a front office spot.
Mattingly is a bridge from the past, which includes ownership by Jeffrey Loria, a lineup of individual stars, and the death of Jose Fernandez, who may have been traded last season like other big name talent had he been alive.
The reality is, having Mattingly in the dugout gives this franchise hope for the future.
"“I like it here,” Mattingly said. “I want to be a part of what we’re doing and building it. But, again, I’m just kind of at a point where I’m pretty comfortable with myself, where I’m at.”"
The Marlins plummeted to a 63-98 record in 2018. A 70-75 win season in 2019 would be considered highly successful the team may lose its best player and biggest draw in catcher J.T. Realmuto this offseason. Mattingly was tasked with putting together a roster that included 20 rookies over the course of the season and a bullpen that floundered and a rotation that needed more consistency.
"“Prior to joining the Marlins, Mattingly managed the Dodgers for five seasons, from 2011-15. He guided Los Angeles to three straight NL West titles,” Frisaro added."