Don Mattingly was always the favorite to become the next manager of the Miami Marlins. The only question was whether he would be available.
Last week, Mattingly and the Dodgers opted to mutually part ways. Unless a deal did not financially impress Mattingly, he was inevitably going to be hired by the Marlins. Regardless, he could prove to be the type of manager the Marlins need.
Ozzie Guillen didn't work because he was too vocal. That much was made clear. Mike Redmond might not have worked because he was passive at times. But he was well liked in the clubhouse. Perhaps Mattingly could prove to be directly in the middle, forming the ideal candidate.
Mattingly had a notable amount of success in Los Angeles and has over 400 career wins to his name. But that was not good enough for the Dodgers. Even after winning three consecutive division titles, it was not enough. The Dodgers wanted a World Series title. The Marlins do too. But the expectations might not be that high initially.
Miami sought a manager with experience and Mattingly is exactly that. He has experience as a player and as a manager. He appears to know how to control a clubhouse. He has a great relationship with Owner Jeffrey Loria. All of those are necessary to have success as a manager in Miami.
Although every organization is different, the Marlins hired the best available candidate for them. They had a tendency to prefer fiery-type personalities, but that phase appears to be over. Larry Bowa interviewed twice. But he was likely choice number two in the event Mattingly was not fired by the Dodgers.
Phil Nevin does not have managerial experience. Neither Bo Porter nor Manny Acta have proven to have a notable amount of success as managers. Bud Black was not realistic. Ron Gardenhire probably was not either.
It might not have happened, but the best thing that could have happened prior to the Marlins hiring Mattingly was questioning Dee Gordon. Gordon played under Mattingly and spent the 2015 campaign in Miami's clubhouse. He knew whether Mattingly would be a good fit or not. But even if Gordon suggested pursuing another manager, the Marlins might have hired Mattingly anyway. The appeal simply could have been too great.
Now that a manager is in place, it is important to remember a manager can only do so much. Yes, making lineups and monitoring pitchers are both significant. But it is ultimately up to the players to produce.
Miami has multiple holes to fill. The club needs starting pitching depth. At the very least, a right-handed platoon partner for Justin Bour at first base could be ideal. Now that the manager is in place, the attention needs to turn to the roster. How does it need to be adjusted? What needs to be done for the Marlins to be competitive within the National League East in 2016?
Mattingly should have success in Miami. He is well-liked and has Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton headlining his 25-man roster. But now, we have to wait and see how the roster will shape up. The moves made between now and February will determine how the Marlins perform next season.