Yes manager Don Mattingly hasn’t been fired yet, but it sounds like a decision is inevitable at this point. The Dodgers enter play today at 17-25 and seven games behind first-place as they get set to take on the Milwaukee Brewers.
While it’s premature to speculate who the team would hire if Mattingly is indeed fired, here’s a list of the top-5 managerial candidates the Dodgers could turn to in the event a change is made.
1. Tony La Russa
While it’s a pipe dream to think La Russa would come out of retirement to manage the Dodgers, but he seems like the most qualified of the potential candidates. La Russa helped guide two different franchises to World Series victories and is a big reason why the Cardinals organization is one of the best in baseball.
Recently, La Russa’s name was linked to the Angels since Mike Scoiscia is on the hot seat, but he denied any interest. La Russa’s tough-minded mentality would be a welcome addition to this year’s version of the Dodgers, but doesn’t seem like a fit mid-season.
2. Tim Wallach
Wallach interviewed for the position before Mattingly was hired and seems to be on the cusp of landing a managerial job in baseball. Before being the team’s third base coach, Wallach managed the Dodgers Triple-A affiliate before settling into his current role.
If Mattingly is fired, there’s a chance that the Guggenheim Group and general manager Ned Colletti would give Wallach a chance to manage the rest of this year and audition for the permanent gig.
3. Ozzie Guillen
Guillen’s lastest stint with the Miami Marlins didn’t go as planned, but he would be an intriguing candidate for the Dodgers. With a team filled with stars last season, Guillen was fired midway through the season as the Marlins underwent another fire sale in the off-season.
Known more for his off the field antics, Guillen would give the Dodgers a fiery yet motivational manager who would help change the body language and culture of the team. However, he’s a bit of a head case and it’s unknown as to whether or not Dodgers management would want to put up with him.
4. Mike Scioscia
Every Dodger fan’s dream is for Scioscia to return to the team that he spent his entire 13-year major league career with, but it’s very unlikely to happen. Signed through 2018, Scioscia has received assurance from owner Arte Moreno that he’s safe, but could only be an option in the off-season.
Scioscia would be able to handle the stars in the Dodgers’ clubhouse and would help get the most out of his players. Fiery as a player, Scioscia has translated that into his managing style and is one of the most successful managers in baseball.
5. Trey Hillman
Another internal candidate, Hillman has been Mattingly’s bench coach for the past few seasons and has prior managerial experience from his time in Kansas City.
While he might also get fired if Mattingly is let loose, Hillman would be an easy choice if management doesn’t want to shake things up too much. Even though I don’t expect Hillman to get an interim job, he’s a name that the Dodgers could look at in the event they make a change.