Donnie Baseball Makes Good in L.A.

Here’s a must-read article about Mattingly in the L.A. Times. Would the Yankees have gone into an offensive swoon if he’d been the manager (or at least stayed on as hitting coach)? We’ll never know. Sigh.




    Thus far, he is one of the greatest Yankees not to have won a World Series ring. I hope that changes this year, or in a year to come.

  2. Jane Heller

    He totally deserves a ring, primo. When I was researching my Yankees book, John Sterling told me Mattingly was not only the most respected living Yankee, but also the most hardworking. Go, Donnie.

  3. PAUL

    I don’t know whether the team would’ve ended up in a better position with Mattingly over Girardi (they did win 89 games, which is still very good), but it sure wouldn’t have hurt that the players love and have great respect for Mattingly as a player, coach and person. And he’s got something that Girardi never had—no one can say, “who are YOU to be telling ME anything” to Don Mattingly since he had five of the best (clean) offensive years I’ve ever seen, and was a Gold Glove first baseman; Girardi was a journeyman player at best.


    I guess one can speculate that Mattingly was not hired as manager due to problems in his personal life. The Yankee brass might have known of the issues. It was painful to all Yankees fans when Don’s family life surfaced in the media. He must return to the Yankees in the future. He and Willie Randolph need to be back in the Yankee organization in some capacity. Lastly, Mantingly would have brought the house down if he appeared at the last game ceremonies.

  5. Jane Heller

    I don’t know either, Paul. I do know that being a great player doesn’t automatically make you a great manager or coach. But Mattingly did have the players’ respect, no question.

    I don’t think his personal issues were the reason the Yankees went with Girardi, primo. I think George would have picked Mattingly if he was still running the show, but Girardi was said to be Cashman’s pick.

  6. Greg

    I think Girardi was Hank’s pick. I bet if you asked Cashman, he would have preferred to keep Torre around. We know Hank ran Torre out of town, and Torre’s staff was too loyal and stayed with him. I think Mattingly was probably more along the lines of Cashman to choice to replace Torre at some point. I think they were even grooming Mattlingly in that way.

    I’m sure if Hank didn’t treat Torre so disrespectfully and insult him with that “contract” offer but parted on more cordial terms, Mattingly (if he was offered the job) would have taken the job with no problems.

    I don’t think Mattingly was in Hank’s plan though. I am sure glad we don’t have ownership like that around here.

    Red Sox Ramblings:

  7. Jane Heller

    Well, Greg. You’ve had your share of ownership problems. Wasn’t it Theo Epstein who left Fenway in disguise so the reporters wouldn’t spot him? Didn’t he have some sort of disagreement with Lucchino and threaten to bolt for another team? It happens in the best of families.:) But while I know Cashman and Torre were close, Cashman seemed to favor Girardi over Mattingly and sold Hank/Hal on his pick. George was, indeed, grooming Mattingly but George is not George anymore.

  8. redstatebluestate

    I don’t know, but it sure wouldn’t hurt to think about it. If nothing else, Giambi would’ve been supported in his choice of ‘stache. Thanks for keeping Allen company last night during the debate. I’m trying to get him to be friends with as many Yankees fans as possible, which seriously, is like pulling teeth.

  9. mlbmark

    Jane, as mentioned I played high school baseball against Donnie in Indiana. He and I were chatting after Dodgers BP on workout day before their Game 3 clincher last weekend. I told him, “Do you know that you weren’t even the guy on Memorial’s team who scared me the most?” He knew right away who I was talking about and smiled. The guy I FEARED was about 6-7 and 300 pounds, and he pitched and played first. On cold days, you had to bat against this guy and you had one foot in the dugout. I asked Donnie if that player ever went on to college ball, and he said probably softball. I have to add that two fly balls I caught off Mattingly’s bat one cold day in center at Memorial have become, over time, me scaling the fence and bringing back home runs. You know? I probably did everything to not drop them at the time. But they get bigger. And also, he struck me out five times in a game. He was like Babe Ruth on the mound then, and a great lefty shortstop sometimes. His manager Quentin Merkle was like Torre today…steady, great. Anyway — it’s weird to see Donnie in Dodger Blue, but when I see that, I think of the blue he wore at Memorial. I think of how he was committed to a career in baseball, and how I just wanted to tell people how cool it was to play on our team. Life.

    Oh btw…while working for the Miami Herald out of college, I also was the first one to kind of glorify Mattingly as the future in The Bronx. I was stringing for Donnie’s hometown paper and asked Billy Martin about the kid in camp, and he told me he really liked his swing and that this is the real deal. Something to that effect. I need to find that clip!


  10. mlbmark

    Also, nice article by Ross — thanks. Donnie’s boy Preston is in the Dodgers’ organization, too. Will be fun to watch.

  11. Jane Heller

    Jeff, it’s my mission to convince Allen that all Yankee fans are not evil!

    Great stories, Mark! I can’t believe Donnie was NOT the guy you feared playing against. And I had no idea he used to pitch. He really was The Natural. Now I want him to get a WS ring more than ever.

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