When Joe Torre left the Yankees Don Mattingly seemed like his heir apparent, but when Joe Girardi beat him out for the manager’s position Mattingly left town with Torre.
Now it once again looks like Mattingly is the heir apparent for Torre.
“We’ve got a good young club and the organization seems to like me and have confidence in me,” Mattingly said. “So we’ll have to see what happens.”
Like myself, many Yankee fans were upset when Mattingly left the organization, but many of us felt like it would only be a matter of time before he returned. Lately his situation has reminded me a lot of Lou Piniella. See Piniella managed the Yankees briefly, left, and even though he has said he would like to return to the Bronx the timing has just never been right.
This could become the case with Mattingly. Not only is he with the Dodgers organization now, but he seems genuinely happy there which isn’t necessarily an easy thing with their organization in turmoil.
“It’s been a good organization for me,” Mattingly said. “They’ve treated me really well and I’ve been fortunate, really.
“It’s been two great organizations with the Yankees and now the Dodgers.”
Not only does he seem happy there, but for the time being the Yankees seem very happy with Joe Girardi. He’s fresh off managing the team to a World Series victory and despite the fact that he’s in the last year of his contract, he doesn’t seem worried about his lame duck status. For those who don’t remember the pre-Torre era, a comfortable manager is not something you find in the Bronx every day.
Besides, Mattingly isn’t even the Dodger manager yet and despite the fact that there are whispers of Torre’s retirement it hasn’t happened yet. When it comes to his retirement, I’ll believe it when I see it. See, Torre talking about retirement is nothing new. We first heard it at times in 1997, then again in 2000, then again after 2003. So Mattingly could be taking the helm in 2011…or 2014…or never.
It’s impossible to tell in this situation, but one thing is for sure, if the Dodgers did make him the manager they would be getting a levelheaded and trust worthy guy who will give his all to the team. And the Yankees will be lucky if they ever get him back.