After the Los Angeles Dodgers were eliminated in the NL Division Series by the St. Louis Cardinals, there was the expectation changes would follow.
There was speculation Ned Colletti’s status as general manager was in question, while manager Don Mattingly appeared to be in better standing. The speculation turned to fact when the Dodgers hired Andrew Friedman as president of baseball operations, though Colletti wasn’t fired but reassigned as a special advisor to team president and CEO, Stan Kasten.
Friedman’s arrival came with rumors Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon wasn’t far behind; Maddon’s contract expires after the 2015 season and Mattingly has two years remaining on his deal. However, the notion was dispelled during Friedman’s introductory press conference when he said Mattingly would “definitely” return in 2015.
While the friendship between Friedman and Maddon could make for an uncomfortable situation, Mattingly said the speculation isn’t something he’s worried about, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
For me, it’s not something I worry about. It’s like I talk to the club, just take care of our business. I focus on putting the best club on the field as prepared as possible and just go about our business. This year is no different than any year. If the bosses don’t like the job you’re doing, they’ll look for someone else.”
Friedman said he and Mattingly held positive conversations and that their philosophies aligned. The Dodgers have made their desire clear to continue developing the farm system and shift to relying more heavily on talent drafted.
That focus is one Friedman excelled in with the Rays, and which Mattingly agrees with and believes the Dodgers are capable of accomplishing:
I like the young guys and building something that’s sustainable year in and year out. There’s no reason in the world why the Dodgers shouldn’t be that, with everything at our disposal.”
While the Dodgers need to recover plenty from the damage done during the Frank McCourt era, their efforts in rebuilding the farm system has provided them with three elite prospects — Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias — and others that who have already contributed in some capacity or shown promise.
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