Marlins manager Don Mattingly told the media he has to sit down with team CEO Derek Jeter to discuss his future with the organization after this season.
I was once told by an old college professor there is always two sides to a pancake, no matter how flat it is. I never thought I would use the analogy in a baseball story, but it fits where Marlins manager Don Mattingly is concerned.
Prior to the Marlins 8-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night, Mattingly met with the media and once again was asked about his future with the organization. With no new deal offered yet and only 19 games remaining on the schedule, time is potentially running out on Donny Baseball’s time in South Florida.
Team CEO Derek Jeter has responded in recent weeks to questions concerning Mattingly’s future and where he stands in brining back his one-time teammate in New York to skipper this team past 2019. He said he and Mattingly would meet after the season to discuss the future. It’s a topic that hasn’t garnered the answer we media types want, as the waiting has been one of the hardest parts of this season.
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The Marlins may lose 100 games this season. Despite improvements in pitching and the development of young players on the Major League level and in the farm system, Miami is still at least two seasons away from contending for a playoff berth.
Mattingly has been one of the few pieces to a puzzle connecting the Jeffrey Loria era of this franchise and the new regime owned by Jeter and Bruce Sherman. After dissecting the roster, trading off valuable assets and taking a different approach to developing this franchise, will Jeter and president of baseball operations Michael Hill bring in their own man to continue the progression of the Marlins?
Mattingly told the media he is focused on the rest of this season, but also put a different spin on the question at hand, one I had not thought of. He has just as much to do with the decision for the future of this organization. He must make a choice as well if given the opportunity to stay on the bench and manage.
"“I’m in a pretty good spot, in my mind. Honestly, I have to make a choice, too,” he said. “You don’t quite know where next year, too, is going,” Mattingly said."
At the moment, Mattingly is 270-357 as the leader of this team, nothing to write home about after success in Los Angeles as the Dodgers manager. He has also seen dramatic changes in the personnel that has walked through his clubhouse and watched as All-Stars left for other teams with only prospects to show for the team’s decisions. It’s a stressful time for this team, which now stands 51-92 this season. They finished 63-98 last year.
Jeter has stated he and Mattingly have talked and have tabled conversations about the future for after the season. It’s the right thing to do, but it also creates more scenarios the team must address. It’s not just Mattingly who is on the “bubble” – his coaching staff is in limbo as well.
"“I do like the thought of young guys getting better,” Mattingly said. “Growing this organization is really what I was thinking when I first came here. That’s still something that I want.”"
With less than three weeks until the end of the season, Marlins fans will get the answer they want shortly. Does Donny Baseball stay, or will he go? It might not be as cut and dry as Jeter making the call. Somehow, I think Mattingly’s desire to help continue the build of this organization will factor heavily in the final outcome.