Mattingly to get managerial trial run in AFL
Dodgers hitting coach will helm the Phoenix Desert Dogs
SAN DIEGO -- Don Mattingly, Dodgers hitting coach and managerial heir apparent, will manage the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League.
Mattingly is the presumed successor to Joe Torre, who is in the final year of a three-year contract and increasingly hinting that he won't return. In addition to the Dodgers, teams contributing players to the Desert Dogs will be Mattingly's former team, the Yankees, the Braves, Marlins and A's.
"I look at this as preparation for me and looking to help prospects get to the Major Leagues," said Mattingly. "I'm approaching it like that. It'll be good for me."
Mattingly said he was approached by the Dodgers about his interest in a Fall League job.
"There's nothing like experience," Mattingly said. "If I get the chance to manage in the big leagues, I'll have someone with experience [as bench coach] who's been through it before. Part of it is managing the game and obviously that's important. But most of it is managing the club and setting the tone and putting players in position to have success."
Mattingly has never managed at any level, other than taking over for Torre for several games in Spring Training and the memorable two-game stretch last week. On Tuesday, he took over for an ejected Torre and mistakenly visited the mound twice in a matter of seconds to trigger a bitter defeat. He managed a 2-0 victory the following night while Torre was serving a suspension.
Mattingly, 49, was passed over for Joe Girardi as Torre's replacement with the Yankees. He joined Torre's staff in Los Angeles and spoke to the Cleveland Indians about their managerial vacancy last fall. Mattingly also was on a list to be interviewed by the Nationals about their vacancy last year, but he withdrew and decided to return as Torre's hitting coach.
Mattingly is a six-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove winner.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.