LOS ANGELES — Don Mattingly and the Dodgers stuck to their scripts Thursday, insisting they agreed to a mutual parting of the ways while never revealing the exact reason he won't return as manager.
Like a publicist announcing the demise of a Hollywood marriage, the parties insisted the split was amicable. Mattingly even suggested he "will be friends like forever" with his former bosses.
"I don't really want to get into details of our conversations. They were good conversations, they were open and they were honest," Mattingly said by phone from his offseason home in Evansville, Ind. "It just became evident that this was the best thing for both parties."
At Dodger Stadium, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and GM Farhan Zaidi parroted the same vacuous message.
"It was kind of organic," Friedman, formerly with the Rays, said. "It just kind of crystalized that is something that potentially made a lot of sense."
Before they came to that conclusion, the parties discussed extending Mattingly's contract beyond next year, its final season. "When we started on Friday we expected him to be our manager in 2016," Friedman said. "I think that was his thought process also."
But something clearly changed as the discussions wore on. Exactly what it was neither side would specify.
"It came back to this was the right time and right thing," Mattingly, 54, said. "Andrew, Farhan and (team executive) Josh (Byrnes) are great guys. … The organization is in great shape."
Mattingly said he felt wanted, his players backed him, and Friedman and Zaidi expressed their respect and admiration for him, making it all the more puzzling why he's walking away from a storied organization that boasts baseball's highest payroll.
Neither side shed any light to help the franchise's longtime fans understand the move.
"If there is a reason that this happened we would share it," Friedman said. "It's not so black-and-white here. There's a huge middle, and it's gray there. We're not hiding anything. It really is how things played out."
Los Angeles was 446-363 in five years under Mattingly, finishing with a winning record in every season and claiming the past three NL West titles. But the Dodgers have not reached the World Series since winning the championship in 1988.
Farrell's cancer in remission: The Red Sox say manager John Farrell's cancer is in remission. The club said Farrell had his post-treatment testing and learned that his non-Hodgkins lymphoma was in remission. Farrell says he's thankful for the support he has received. Farrell was diagnosed with cancer in August and missed the last six weeks of the season.