Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is in his fourth season as skipper of the Dodgers after serving as their hitting coach beginning in July of 2008. Prior to joining the Dodgers, Mattingly was the hitting coach for the New York Yankees from 2004-2006 and became a bench coach in 2007. As a hitting coach, Mattingly’s influence on both teams’ hitting was evident by their rise in production, which placed both the Dodgers and Yankees at or near the top of multiple categories during his tenure.
Mattingly’s managerial career with the Dodgers has been met with praise and criticism alike. Regarded as a player’s manager, some believe Mattingly’s in-game strategy is subpar and his tendency to make adjustments based on matchups occurs too often. After a historic 42-8 stretch last season, Mattingly’s Dodgers made the postseason and he won his first series as a manager when the Dodgers defeated the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS.
The St. Louis Cardinals put an end to the Dodgers season in the NLCS and Mattingly found himself at an uncomfortable impasse with ownership. By reaching the NLDS, Mattingly’s contract vested for 2014, but there was uncertainty beyond that. There would be a tense press conference with Mattingly and general manager Ned Colletti at the conclusion of the season, and the manager was eventually signed to a three-year extension.
As a player, Mattingly spent his entire 14-year career with the Yankees. He finished with a career .304 average, 2,153 hits, 222 home runs and 1,099 RBIs. The left-handed hitter took home the batting title in 1984 and was named the AL MVP in 1985. In 1987, Mattingly set an MLB record by hitting six grand slams in one season, which was later matched by Travis Hafner in 2006. The Yankees retired Mattingly’s No. 23 jersey in 1997.
Mattingly turned 53 on Sunday and Dodgers Nation would like to wish him a happy birthday!
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