Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

AP source: Don Mattingly out as Dodgers manager

LOS ANGELES — Don Mattingly is out as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Mattingly and the team mutually have agreed to part ways, a person with knowledge of the situation said Thursday.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced Mattingly's departure. Front office officials were expected to speak at a news conference later in the day.

Los Angeles was 446-363 under Mattingly, finishing with a winning record in every season and winning the last three NL West titles. But the Dodgers have not reached the World Series since winning the championship in 1988.

The 54-year-old former Yankees star ranks sixth in wins among Dodgers managers.

The franchise with baseball's highest payroll, a record $289.6 million as of the end of the regular season, managed just two playoff victories before losing 3-2 to the New York Mets in a decisive Game 5 of their NL Division Series last week.

Los Angeles reached the postseason in three straight years for the first time but the Dodgers won just one series, beating Atlanta in the division series two years ago, while losing three.

Mattingly had one year remaining on his contract. He returned to his offseason home in Evansville, Indiana, earlier in the week.

"You come to spring training, you work all winter, you scratch, you fight, all year long to get into this situation and you have a chance. It comes to a crash," Mattingly said last week. "I don't think there's any way to soften that blow."

He was a holdover from the previous front office regime, having been manager Joe Torre's hand-picked successor in 2010 after he coached under the Hall of Famer for seven seasons in New York and Los Angeles.

Mattingly worked this season under the new tandem of president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi, who had greater hands-on management than what Mattingly was used to under former GM Ned Colletti.

Between Zaidi's expertise in advanced analytics and Friedman's reputation for building a roster by crunching numbers, Mattingly had a plethora of data at his disposal this season.

"His preparation has been tremendous," Zaidi said before the playoffs began. "We see how thorough he is."

But the end result was still the same.

The laidback Mattingly had the support of his players, who appreciated his support and positive attitude.

"He's our guy and I believe in him," first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said last week.

Left fielder Kike Hernandez said, "He had nothing to do with this."

Mattingly's name surfaced last month for the Miami Marlins' opening. There also are current managerial openings in San Diego, Seattle and Washington.

While there was speculation the Dodgers would need to make a deep postseason run for Mattingly to keep his job, the front office was publicly supportive of him.

"I think he's done a very nice job this season with the roster turnover we've had and mixing and matching players," Zaidi said this month. "If you're going to tell me a team's success is solely driven by the manager I just don't think that's true."

Mattingly's departure is the latest within the franchise.

Stan Conte resigned last weekend after nine years directing the team's medical staff. Organist Nancy Bea Hefley retired at season's end after 28 years with the team.

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