Don Mattingly is doing his best job of managing the Miami Marlins in this shortened season.
I’m not sure if it’s a Magic 8-Ball or a secret treasure map the Miami Marlins are following, but the start of the MLB season for this organization has been nothing short of amazing.
Manager Don Mattingly talked to the media following the team’s win over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night, which was the 282nd victory in a Marlins uniform for the skipper. This is a path he and the team are traveling together, which has been rocky along the way.
Despite the potholes, the franchise endured to begin the season, it has been Mattingly who has held onto the reins and guided the roster – which has been reset twice – to the best start in franchise history.
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Ironically, it happens in a shortened season where I have been banging the drum that a season like this needs an asterisk by it. Talk about irony.
Mattingly has preached stability is the thing that will guide the team through the remainder of the season as the organization is arguably one of the hottest topics in baseball today.
“Just the fact that players know what to expect,” Mattingly said Friday through a Zoom conference. “That they are comfortable with you, and that they can talk to you. It’s not like a different system all the time. I’m pretty consistent in my personality with them.”
You could not say that a week ago as the front office rushed to fill roster spots, and prayed to the MLB masses that it could field a competitive team until players who were dealing with COVID-19 could return to action.
The job has been masterfully done so far.
The Miami Marlins get set to face the New York Mets once again tonight at 7:10 PM from Citi Field.
Given the fact Mattingly knows about changes in baseball and having played in arguably the best and toughest sports town in the country, he knows that guiding the players who were on the roster and those who are now on the roster takes finesse. Nothing has been easy this season and so far, the Marlins are the ones who are proving they can be a blueprint for all of MLB.
“A former All-Star and MVP with the Yankees, Mattingly’s playing career lasted from 1982-95. In that span, New York made 12 managerial changes. Billy Martin alone had three stints, and Lou Piniella two,” Joe Frisaro wrote.
Mattingly is in his fifth season in Miami, which appears to be the most satisfying so far. The young nucleus he is working with and the veterans the team signed this offseason are meshing well. It’s a nice balance that could pay off with a postseason run.
Remaining with the organization was something team CEO Derek Jeter took care of prior to the end of the 2019 season when Mattingly’s contract was extended by two seasons. It means the skipper will see this transformation through and hopefully bring playoff baseball back to South Florida.
“Obviously, I was happy that Derek wanted me back this year,” Mattingly said. “Because I wanted to be able to finish the job. I knew the kind of talent that we had coming. I’m happy to be here, and I think continuity is part of creating consistency. “