Will the Miami Marlins make a move concerning the future of Don Mattingly before the end of the 2019 season?
You cannot help but wonder if the Miami Marlins will make a move in-season to change managers, ending Don Mattingly’s tenure as skipper in south Florida.
While I love Donny Baseball and think he is in a no-win situation given the moves the front office has made since October 2017, there is no denying the Marlins are a bad baseball team and the former New York Yankees star has been at the helm the previous three-plus seasons. While team CEO Derek Jeter told the media prior to the end of last season that Mattingly would come back for the final season of his four-year deal with the franchise, there was nothing else said about a potential contract extension for one of MLB’s most loved individuals.
"“Mattingly is in the final year of the four-year deal he signed under a previous ownership group. It is a huge change from his time managing the Los Angeles Dodgers, as Joe Torre’s successor, and serving as Torre’s bench coach with the Yankees. Both of those teams had bountiful payrolls and a regular presence in the postseason,” Howard Megdal of the New York Times writes."
The changing of rosters, the addition of minor league talent, and the constant reminders of what could have been made this season as difficult, if not more so, than any of the other years Mattingly has put on a Marlins jersey and managed this team. Now, with 10 wins and the worst record in team history staring him in the face, does Jeter, his one-time teammate in New York, make a change with a former player he is all too familiar with – Jorge Posada.
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The question was approached in a story that appears in the Miami New Times.
"“The team is so spectacularly atrocious that even loyalists’ lowest expectations seem unreachable with 75 percent of the season to go. The Marlins are approaching legendary levels of inferior,” writes Ryan Yousefi.“Things need to change and fast. It’s time for the Marlins to cut bait, fire manager Don Mattingly, and bring in a new voice — possibly ex-Yankees catcher, Miami Marlins executive, and Derek Jeter ex-teammate Jorge Posada — for the remainder of the season.”"
We have talked quite a bit about making changes with talent, promoting players on the cusp like pitcher Zac Gallen and everyday players Isan Diaz, Monte Harrison and Austin Dean. There has been some talk that maybe other coaches should be released, much like the team did with Mike Pagliarulo because of Miami’s lack of hitting.
By the way, there isn’t much difference in the way the team approaches the plate now than it did three weeks ago.
Mattingly has been the good soldier, preached the party line, said all the right things and has worked under the assumption that baseball matters first and his job in sunny Florida is an afterthought. But these are tough times in baseball, the toughest the team has faced in years.
"“My first couple of years here were one thing. My last couple it’s like a whole new thing,” Mattingly said in the New York Times article. “It’s almost like a new job. You keep moving forward in this game. You try to get better every day. You prepare for that next game. The ones behind you are gone.”"
But history cannot be forgotten unfortunately this time. Mattingly, who had success as Joe Torre’s replacement in Los Angeles with the Dodgers, hasn’t had an inkling of the same success. Failure was expected once Jeter and Bruce Sherman bought the franchise from Jeffrey Loria. But to a man, the belief coming out of Spring Training was the Marlins would be better than anticipated.
Guess what? That has not happened.
As Yousefi stated, the baseball team and the manager might need a change. Both may get that sooner rather than later.
While Mattingly’s team sinks further in baseball’s abyss, the likelihood of him being retained after 2019 is almost unapproachable. The idea of relieving him of his duties prior to the end of the season keeps getting greater and greater.