Don Mattingly has been hired as the new manager of the Miami Marlins, according to Molly Knight of VICE Sports. Mattingly, a former New York Yankee and reported friend of Marlins owner—and longtime Yankee fan—Jeffrey Loria, is coming off of a five-year stint of managing the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Under Mattingly, the Dodgers put together five winning seasons, including three straight first place finishes, replete with trips to the playoffs. But Mattingly was not the choice of the current front office of the Dodgers, and speculation has been swirling for over a year that Mattingly was not going to be the long-term manager in Los Angeles.
Before becoming Dodgers skipper, Mattingly had never managed at any level in the minor leagues, but he had served as Joe Torre's bench coach for both the Yankees and the Dodgers since 2004. While with the Dodgers, Mattingly developed reputations for both being an excellent players' manager as well as a poor in-game tactician, specifically with his bullpen usage. The Dodgers had Mattingly under contract for one more year, but the two decided to mutually part ways last week.
The Marlins' managerial chair has seen a huge amount of turnover in the past half decade. In the time that Mattingly was the Dodgers' manager, seven men filled the position for the Marlins, including ex-players Ozzie Guillen and Mike Redmond and former Marlins general manager Dan Jennings.
Loria is a notoriously hands-on—some would say meddlesome—owner, often times espousing one belief and then sharply changing his mind. He has also, in his tenure as owner, overseen a number of fire sales. Most notable for Mets fans is the instance of him signing Jose Reyes to a six-year deal, only to trade him to Toronto a year later when the team failed to live up to Loria's expectations.
Mattingly will not have to deal with the media scrutiny that comes from managing one of baseball's great franchises, but working for Loria doens't seem to exactly be a low-stress position either. Depending on who the Washington Nationals hire to be their manager, this move helps ensure that Terry Collins has a real shot at being the best tactical manager in the National League East in 2016. That, in itself, is something amazing.