Marlins CEO Derek Jeter had said he would determine the fate of manager Don Mattingly before the end of the 2019 season. True to his word, the team is holding a press conference Friday afternoon to announce two-year contract extensions for both Mattingly and shortstop Miguel Rojas (the Mattingly extension was first reported by Daniel Álvarez Montes of El Extra Base).
Mattingly is the longest-tenured skipper in franchise history and widely respected by both players and media. That being said, in a performance-based job, it’s unusual for somebody with his poor results to be rewarded—the Marlins have been 272-364 (.428 W-L%) under his watch with a decline in winning percentage each season. Though the longtime Yankees star has kept Miami’s clubhouse mostly drama-free despite the struggles, he is less analytically minded than most current managers around the majors. His in-game pitching changes are often hard to justify and several once-promising hitting prospects have flopped under his watch.
After entering this season with 86% approval from Fish Stripes FanPulse respondents, Mattingly never returned to those heights. He bottomed out at 43% during the late April/early May dry spell, and earlier this week, only a slight majority applauded his efforts (51%).
Mattingly didn’t extend himself, of course. This expenditure comes from the front office, which has consistently rated more favorably in the minds of Marlins fans during 2019.
I’m so fascinated to see where the public sentiment is as we enter the final week of this rebuilding year. If you haven’t been getting the surveys, please sign up!