After a 14-year career at first base with the New York Yankees, Don Mattingly came out of retirement to become the Yanks' hitting coach at the request of Yankees' owner George Steinbrenner in 2004, but according to New York Times' writer Tyler Kepner's October 24, 2007 article entitled, "Mattingly returned with managing in mind":
"Mattingly accepted Steinbrenner’s offer to be the team's hitting coach, but his true ambition was to be the manager after Joe Torre."
After 12 seasons, 6 pennants and 4 World Series titles, the Yankees decided to part ways with Torre after a 94-68 2007 campaign that saw New York lose to the Cleveland Indians in a four-game NLDS series, and Don Mattingly was one of three finalists for the job along with Joe Girardi, who had just won the NL Manager of the Year award for his work with the cash-strapped Marlins and Yankees' first base coach Tony Pena. Girardi, of course, as we know, was chosen as Torre's replacement, and Mattingly's response made his disappointment clear, as he said through spokesman Ray Schulte, as quoted in a Bloomberg.com article by Larry DiTore entitled, "Girardi picked as Yankees' manager, Mattingly says":
"'Don extends congratulations to Joe and wishes him and the organization good luck next year.'"
The former Yankees' decision to leave New York was to be expected, after all, it was Mattingly's intention to become a major league manager, "From the time I took the hitting job, I knew what I wanted to do," Mattingly told the New York Times' Tyler Kepner, before he knew the Yankees would go with Girardi:
"For every step I’ve gone through, I’ve been paying attention to the way things are handled — the way spring training is run, the way things happen in the clubhouse, just paying attention.
I wouldn't have come back to just do the hitting. I wasn't really willing to say it publicly until the last year or year and a half, but I've known from the beginning what I wanted."
Mattingly joined Joe Torre in LA when he took over as manager there and even as the Dodgers are battling the Philadelphia Phillies for the NLCS crown, rumors persist that this will be Torre's unhappy in Los Angeles, and according to Former DC GM Jim Bowden's latest tweeted update on the Nationals' Manager search, Mattingly is once again faced with a situation similar to that which he faced in NY, as Mr. Bowden writes:
"Torre says he probably won't manage Dodgers past 2010...Mattingly will have to decide, should he wait for 2011 or pursue the Nationals opening?"
?'s For The DC Faithful...
• Is "Donnie Baseball" the right man for the Nationals' Manager job?
• Can the Nationals afford another rookie Manager? Or should they go with an experienced skipper?