UPDATED: 10-24-14 11:03am
If the Dodgers don’t make a hard play for Joe Maddon then I believe the Guggenheim organization, Stan Kasten and the front office are not serious about winning.
There is no other way to put it. New General Manager Andrew Friedman and Kasten said last week that the only thing that matters is winning. Friedman said there is nothing else. If that is the truth then the Dodgers will thank Don Mattingly for his years of service, give him a nice severance package and then hand a contract to Joe Maddon and let him put the dollar figure in the heading, a la Andre Dawson in 1987 with the Cubs.
This is a no-brainer for the Dodgers. It shouldn’t even be deliberated, coalesced, analyzed or disputed. Joe Maddon should be the 2015 Los Angeles Dodgers manager. Maddon has done more with less in the last nine years than most managers do in a lifetime. His baseball smarts and abilities as a game manager are Bochy-esque. What are the Dodgers waiting for ? Maddon only resigned a 90 minutes ago. I want to hear about the Maddon hiring in the next few hours. Chop chop, get on it.
Maddon resigned this morning as manager of the Tampa Rays after nine years at the helm. Reports indicate the Tampa brass and Maddon had a significant gulf in financial terms being discussed. With one year left on his deal, Maddon decided not to be a lame duck. He decided to explore his options.
Several baseball writers are reporting that un-named Dodgers front office officials are saying that the Dodgers WILL NOT bring in Maddon. They are reporting that the Dodgers are committed to Don Mattingly. Why ? Who are these officials ? I want names ?
In the spirit of openness, I have not been a Don Mattingly antagonist. In fact I have been the guy in my large circle of Dodger friends that seems to always come to the defense of Donnie. Trust me, this is a tough task. This has nothing to do with his service to the Dodgers and his efforts. This is simply a business decision. When you find someone more capable of doing a job, in whatever business you are in, one has to at least consider making a change. When that “someone” is possibly one of the best at his craft then you have to take it under “deep advisement.”
Last week during Friedman’s introductory press conference he said Don Mattingly would “definitely” be back as Dodgers manager in 2015. Andrew, no one will hold it against you if you suddenly have a change of heart. Trust me on this one. Dodger fans will give you a pass in the “your word is bond” department. This is Joe “freaking” Maddon.
The Dodgers may not want to do this considering last Friday’s full-throated support of Mattingly, but this is something they HAVE to do. Nationally the Dodgers will be seen as cut-throat and mean-spirited, but, next year, with Maddon they may be seen as World Series Champions.
Pull the trigger Guggenheim. Pull the trigger Mark Walter. Pull the trigger Andrew Friedman. Hey Earvin “Magic” Johnson, remember that time you unceremoniously un-seated Paul Westhead from behind, you gutted him like a fish, and orchestrated Pat Riley taking over the Lakers ? Make that happen Magic !!
Hey Donnie, thanks for your service. And, remember, “it’s business, not personal.”
UPDATE: We now have a name. President of Baseball Ops Andrew Friedman says Don Mattingly will be back as Dodgers manager in 2015. So, Friedman fails his first baseball exam.