Don Mattingly has been managing the Miami Marlins since the 2016 season and led The Fish to the playoffs in 2020. He received a two-year extension recently. The front office may believe in him, but it doesn’t seem as if the fans are. I’ve seen a lot of complaints about his managing, so let’s see if they’re true.
Should the Miami Marlins fire Don Mattingly?
Don Mattingly started his managerial career in 2011 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. That season they finished with an 82-79 record, which was worse than their expected 84-77 Pythagorean W-L record. Not the best beginning to his tenure, but better for LA who were 80-82 the previous season.
Don Mattingly remained their manager in 2012, and this time the team went 86-76 with the same expected Pythagorean W-L record. This was an improvement so he stayed at the helm for the 2013 season. The Los Angeles Dodgers won the NL West that season with a 92-70 record. They had an 89-73 Pythagorean W-L record. This was an improvement as they ultimately lost 4-2 in the NLCS to the St. Louis Cardinals. The season was a success.
2014 saw Don Mattingly continue to manage LA. This time they won the NL West with a 94-68 record. They again slightly overachieved due to their 92-70 Pythagorean record. They lost 3-1 in the NLDS to St. Louis. In 2015 they won the NL West with a 92-70 record (89-73 Pythagorean record). Their season ended 3-2 in the NLDS against the New York Mets. The Los Angeles Dodgers fired him after the season.
Was Don Mattingly a bad manager? The Los Angeles Dodgers had the highest payroll in the Majors in some of those years and he’s the only Dodgers manager to have a losing playoff record in 10 or more games. The players praised him however. Mattingly took over the Miami Marlins for the 2016 season.
In 2016 Don Mattingly managed the Miami Marlins to a 79-82 record (78-83 Pythagorean record). In 2017 the Miami Marlins missed the playoffs again with a 77-85 record (identical Pythagorean record). In 2018, the Miami Marlins had a 63-98 record, which was better than our 58-103 Pythagorean W-L record. I guess that’s an improvement.
2019 was a disaster for Don Mattingly and the Miami Marlins, as he led the team to a 57-105 record (61-101 Pythagorean). This was horrible, but in the shortened 2020 season, the Miami Marlins went 31-29 with a 26-34 Pythagorean record. This was a major success and The Fish made it to the NLDS, after sweeping the Chicago Cubs in the NL Wild Card playoffs. 2021 saw a catastrophic 67-95 record with a 72-90 Pythagorean record.
So far in 2022 the Miami Marlins are 25-30 with a 30-25 Pythagorean W-L record.
Don Mattingly is not a bad manager, but he didn’t take the Los Angeles Dodgers as far as he should’ve, and he had some really bad seasons with the Miami Marlins. We might have to consider other options if things don’t rapidly improve.