As first reported by Jordan McPherson and Craig Mish of the Miami Herald, Don Mattingly informed Marlins players and staff on Sunday that he’s leaving his managerial position at the end of this season. For the first time in seven years, the Marlins are searching for a new skipper. It is being described as a “mutual” agreement, though the team had all the leverage with this being the final year of Mattingly’s contract.
With 10 games to go, Mattingly owns a 437-583 lifetime record (.428 winning percentage) with the Marlins. He received the 2020 National League Manager of the Year award for leading Miami to the postseason—coincidentally, this news comes exactly two years to the day of clinching that NL Wild Card berth.
In-game maneuvers only make up a small part of a modern manager’s responsibilities. However, it is hard to overlook how the Marlins struggled under Mattingly in late-and-close situations. In all of his full-length seasons (excluding 2020), Mattingly’s teams had losing records in one-run games, with 2022 being particularly ghastly (22-37).
Yes, Mattingly was easy to root for based on his decorated playing career (and that played a role in Jeffrey Loria’s decision to hire him in the first place), but he put that aside as manager and chose to be incredibly approachable and accommodating. That’s why outside of disgruntled fans, you won’t see anybody “celebrating” this change.
There it is. Donnie has been nothing but a class act during this tumultuous build. I’m lucky to have been able to get to know him over the past couple of seasons. I have no doubt that he’ll succeed in whatever role is next for him in baseball. https://t.co/ogpOae1GMI— Isaac Azout (@IsaacAzout) September 25, 2022
6 years ago Donnie helped lead that organization through its darkest time. Donnie is one of few genuinely good people in the game. It was an honor to have played for him and wish him nothing but the best. https://t.co/Xmx5nHt93j— Tom Koehler (@TKREFRESH22) September 25, 2022
Classiest guy I ever met in Sports. pic.twitter.com/fLMuhzm5qv— Craig Minervini (@CraigMinervini) September 25, 2022
Don Mattingly gave among the most honest and substantive answers of any coach or manager in 36 years of covering sports here. Nobody was better in that regard. And a class act, too. No arrogance or condescension ever. We will miss him.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) September 25, 2022
Mish reports that Kim Ng will hire Mattingly’s successor and Bruce Sherman will be “part of the process.” Assuming that person comes from outside the Marlins organization, most members of Mattingly’s major league coaching staff could be looking for work elsewhere. The Angels and Rangers are among the other MLB teams with managerial vacancies.
Here is Sherman’s statement:
We are fortunate to have had Don Mattingly leading our team on the field over the last seven years. He has represented the Marlins, our players, our fans, and the South Florida community with unmatched dignity and pride. Over the course of our recent conversations with Don, we both agreed not to pursue a new contract for the 2023 season and that the time is right for a new voice to lead our clubhouse. He will depart with the most wins and most games managed in franchise history and we are proud of Don’s many accomplishments, including winning the National League Manager of the Year in 2020 when he guided the Marlins to the postseason after a 16-year absence.
And a statement from Donnie himself:
Today I am announcing that I will not be seeking a contract extension with the Miami Marlins. After meeting with Mr. Sherman and discussing with Kim Ng, all parties agreed that it was time for a new voice for the organization. I am proud and honored to have served as manager of the Marlins for the past seven years and have enjoyed my experiences and relationships I’ve developed within the organization. I look forward to spending time with my family in Evansville, and to any future endeavors.