The Los Angeles Dodgers have finalized a contract extension with Manager Don Mattingly that will run through 2016. The three-year extension will replace Mattingly’s current one-year deal. Terms of the contract have not been released.
The question for Dodger fans is are they satisfied with having Mattingly locked in as Manager for the next three seasons? I can see the argument from both sides. Not only did Mattingly bring the Dodgers back from the dead last season, but led them to the one of the best 50-game stretches in MLB history and to the NLCS where they fell to the St. Louis Cardinals in six games.
Mattingly is 260-225 in three seasons as the Dodgers skipper and finished second the NL Manager of the Year voting in 2013. But is he really a good game manager? We know that Mattingly is fantastic with the players in the dugout and fosters incredible chemistry in the locker room, which is a quality that cannot possibly be overlooked.
However, his in-game decision making last season, specifically in the playoffs, is cause for concern if you are a Dodgers fans. Taking Adrian Gonzalez out at 3rd base in the 8th inning of a tie game in Game 1 of the NLCS? Continually depending on Brandon League when he was no longer effective? All I’m saying is he has repeatedly made questionable moves when the game is on the line.
Mattingly is still a young manager and has gone through some growing pains. Hopefully the fact that the Dodgers have placed their faith in him for the foreseeable future provide the security he feels he needs to manage the team effectively. Hopefully that security will allow him the peace of mind to be able to make bold decisions when the game is on the line.
I’m hopeful that Don Mattingly will continue to grow as a Manager and that he is the type of leader that can bring a Championship to Los Angeles. I’m just not 100% sold that he is the man for the job. If you’re a Dodgers fan, hope that I’m wrong. I’ll gladly take that one on the chin for a World Series title.