Speculation has been flying around about just how secure Don Mattingly's status is as the Dodgers' manager after he let comments fly about his team that may have been meant to inspire, but just kind of raised flags about how much disconnect their is in Los Angeles' clubhouse. As Eric Stephen of our SBN sister site True Blue LA discusses, Mattingly benched one of his stars in Andre Ethier, deciding that he felt like the team was better off without him in the lineup. The sense seems to be it's a matter of when, and not if.
The Dodgers currently sit in last place in the NL West division, which is dramatically different than what everyone expected out of them after pushing their payroll to $217 million dollars by acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, and Zack Greinke to compliment their roster that already contained Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp. For better or worse, a manager of an underperforming team is always the one that catches most of the blame. It's just the same as a manager receiving too much praise for a team that is exceeding expectations, like the 2013 Yankees.
Stan Kasten, Dodgers president, says that Mattingly's job is safe, but if the team continues to struggle, how much longer will that be true? The Dodgers had a chance to extend Mattingly before the final guaranteed year of his contract began, but the fact that it didn't happen could indicate that people in LA aren't exactly thrilled with the job he has done.
If the Dodgers do end up firing Mattingly, the timing would be a little interesting, considering that Joe Girardi is in the final year of his contract. The Yankee brass obviously preferred Girardi to Mattingly when trying to replace Joe Torre following the 2007 season. Since that time, Girardi has managed the team to another World Series championship and currently has a makeshift roster containing numerous castoffs and third-stringers sitting in first place in the AL East. Managers get far too much credit for what the players accomplish on the field, but if that's the criteria we are operating with, then Girardi's job as Yankee skipper seems safe.
Donnie Baseball managing the Yankees would likely be a great representation of sentimentality for fans who grew up idolizing him, but would bringing him on as a manager really be in the best interests of the team? Joe Girardi has exhibited a fair number of flaws in his time as manager, but sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don't; Girardi has proven to be less of a devil than some, despite what people say in the heat of the moment of a tough loss.
It seems like a longshot that the Yankees would want to offer Don Mattingly a job after he was fired in LA if they didn't want to hire him over Girardi before he was seen as the captain of a sinking ship. Stranger things have happened, of course, but it would be pretty shocking to not see Girardi given a new contract when the season is over. Is that what you'd prefer, or do you want Donnie Baseball back in pinstripes? Would you have any concerns about Mattingly being the Yankees' manager after seeing his current situation with the Dodgers?