The paradox for some Dodgers fans entering the playoffs is rooting against the Washington Nationals without hurting the feelings of their manager — the one still wearing wristbands and known by a cool nickname at age 67.
Dusty Baker, the former All-Star and Gold Glove outfielder, is the first L.A. Dodger icon to face his former team as a manager in the postseason. In 1959, Los Angeles patrons weren’t attached to Al Lopez, the former Brooklyn catcher who was piloting the Chicago White Sox in the World Series at the Coliseum. Other opposing managers had played for the Dodgers, including second baseman Willie Randolph (2006 Mets) and reserve outfielder Charlie Manuel (2008-09 Phillies). Danny Ozark (1977-78 Phillies), Bobby Cox (1996 Braves) and Terry Collins (2015 Mets) were former minor leaguers in the Dodger organization.
By Mark Langill
Today is the 20th anniversary of Tommy Lasorda tearfully walking away from his dream job, although the description and duties always varied by the hour.
By Jon Weisman
Dave Roberts is being introduced at Dodger Stadium shortly after 11 a.m. as the Dodgers’ manager. We’ll highlight some of the key quotes as they come here …
(Also, note that Roberts will be holding a live Q&A on Twitter this afternoon – check the hashtag #AskDave.)
Introducing Roberts is Dodger president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman: “We are highly confident that he is going to play a significant role in us shaping a culture of sustained success here. Magic Johnson then presents Roberts with his Dodger jersey, wearing No. 30.
Roberts begins with some introductory remarks:
- “For me, this is obviously a huge day for me, speaking personally and on behalf of my family. … I think for me to have an opportunity to put the Dodger uniform on again, it’s come full circle.”
- “People have asked me in passing about this opportunity. I look at it as a responsibility.”
- “I see Don Newcombe. I see Maury Wills. I see Tommy Lasorda. I see Adrian Gonzalez. These are people, when they wear that Dodger uniform, they wear it the right way — they wear it with pride.”
Next, the Q&A begins:
By Cary Osborne
There’s this long-standing narrative in baseball about a rookie manager having to earn his stripes or needing some sort of prior big league managerial experience before he can guide a team to a World Series or even bigger, a World Series title.
By Jon Weisman
Dave Roberts first came to the Dodgers as a nobody. On December 22, 2001, the Dodgers traded two single-A minor-leaguers, Christian Bridenbaugh and Nial Hughes, to Cleveland for an outfielder who had 40 career Major League hits at age 29.
Neither Bridenbaugh nor Hughes would play at any level in any of MLB’s 30 organizations again. But Roberts, he wouldn’t easily be forgotten.
By Jon Weisman
Don Mattingly and the Marlins have agreed to a deal for him to become the next Miami manager, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com confirmed today.
An official announcement is expected after the World Series. Mattingly will be the 15th manager in Marlins history and the second with Dodger ties, following Jeff Torborg (2002-03).
John Boles (1996-2001) later became a Dodger senior advisor, and Cookie Rojas, who managed the Marlins for one game in 2006 between Rene Lachemann and Boles, was the starting second baseman as a roookie for the Reds in the first game ever at Dodger Stadium. A week later, according to Baseball-Reference.com, Rojas got his first Major League hit — off Sandy Koufax.
But I digress. Mattingly will return April 25-28 to Los Angeles, when Miami plays at Dodger Stadium to start the Dodgers’ second homestand of the year.
By Jon Weisman
This would have been a good day to own stock in the word “mutual.”
Dodger president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi — along with outgoing manager Don Mattingly — fought an uphill battle before a skeptical press corps this afternoon to emphasize that the decision for Mattingly to leave the Dodgers was a shared one.
“If there was a reason that this happened, we would share it,” Friedman said during a 45-minute session for him and Zaidi at Dodger Stadium. “There’s not. It was a collection of a lot of different conversations over many days that got us to this point. So it’s not so black and white here. There is a huge middle, and it’s gray, and that’s how everything played out.”
By Jon Weisman
Eight people have managed the Dodgers since their last World Series in 1988, and soon there will be a ninth.
Here’s this morning’s announcement:
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Don Mattingly have mutually agreed that Mattingly will not return to manage the club in 2016.
Dodger president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, general manager Farhan Zaidi and senior vice-president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes met and talked extensively with Mattingly for several days following the conclusion of the season.
“As our end-of-season process began, we discussed the past year, our future goals, necessary changes, roster needs and other matters relating to next year’s campaign,” said Friedman. “As the dialogue progressed daily, it evolved to a point where we all agreed that it might be best for both sides to start fresh. We decided to think about it for a couple of days and when we spoke again, we felt comfortable that this was the direction to go. I have the utmost respect for Donnie and thoroughly enjoyed working with him this past season. I want to thank him for his hard work and collaboration, as well as his accomplishments, including three consecutive National League West titles. I wish him nothing but success in the future.”
“I’m honored and proud to have had the opportunity to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers,” said Mattingly. “I’ve enjoyed my experiences and relationships with the organization’s staff and players throughout my eight years in L.A. After meeting with Andrew, Farhan and Josh, we all felt that a fresh start would be good for both the organization and me. We talked about several scenarios, including my returning in 2016. However, I believe this is the right time and right move for both parties. I’m still very passionate about managing and hope to get the opportunity in the near future. In the meantime, I want to thank the Dodger organization, the city and our fans for the opportunity and wish the club well going forward.”
By Jon Weisman
Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers manager Damon Berryhill has been named 2015 Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year, the league office announced today.
Berryhill won a vote of managers and media representatives from each PCL city. He is the first Dodger Triple-A manager to win the award since Lorenzo Bundy did for Albuquerque in 2012.
Oklahoma City won the PCL American Northern Division title with a team-record 85 victories so far and is headed for the PCL playoffs, despite roster turnover that put over 80 players in uniform during the year, amid more than 300 transactions.
The team has 11 walkoff wins, tied for the most in the PCL.
Berryhill joined the Dodger organization in 2009 at Ogden, and moved up to Albuquerque last year. Overall, he is 416-384 in eight seasons as a manager, after a 10-year career as a Major League catcher with the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati and San Francisco.