The Los Angeles Dodgers and manager Don Mattingly have reportedly parted ways. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the two sides had a "mutual parting," after the Dodgers were eliminated by the New York Mets in the National League Division Series on Oct. 9.
There had been speculation that Mattingly would be fired after the Dodgers failed to reach the World Series after three consecutive seasons of 92 wins or better. He had one year remaining on his contract, and there had been uncertainty about his long-term future with the club after ownership hired a new front office.
Mattingly, 54, joined Joe Torre's staff in 2008 and took over as manager in 2011. The former New York Yankees first baseman won 55.1 percent of his games, finishing with a 446-363 record, but just an 8-11 record in the postseason.
The decision to move on from Mattingly is also not surprising given many of the changes around the Dodgers. According to Mark Saxon of ESPN, the Dodgers front office under first-year president Andrew Friedman cut ties with advanced scouts Gary Pellant and Willie Fraser, while also firing minor league managers and coaches.
Expectations were high at Chavez Ravine, with the Dodgers boasting perhaps the best 1-2 pitching combination in decades behind Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, and a collection of burgeoning young prospects like infielder Corey Seager and outfielder Joc Pederson. But Mattingly seemed to have trouble juggling players who were strong in the first half of the season but who struggled in the second half. Pederson and catcher Yasmani Grandal failed to maintain their productivity in the second half and did little in the postseason.
Mattingly's pitching decisions were also somewhat curious. In Game 1 of the NLDS, Mattingly decided to pull Kershaw in favor of Pedro Baez. The result was a base hit by David Wright that scored two runs for the Mets in a 3-1 win. In Game 1 of the 2014 NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals, Mattingly had pulled Kershaw and inserted Baez to pitch to slugger Matt Holliday, who would then belt a three-run homer in a 10-9 Dodgers loss.
Mattingly may have also had problems dealing with the Dodgers' egos. In Game 5 against the Mets, cameras caught Andre Ethier in a screaming match with Torre. There had also reportedly been friction between Mattingly and Yasiel Puig. The Los Angeles Times reported that fan favorite Matt Kemp and Mattingly didn't communicate after Kemp was traded to the San Diego Padres.
Still, Mattingly .551 winning percentage was better than both Torre's and Tommy Lasorda (.526) and just short of Walter Alston (.558).
There had been speculation that the Dodgers considered allowing Mattingly to move on the Miami Marlins and receive compensation. ESPN reported the Dodgers had interest in offering Mattingly a contract extension after organizational meetings, but Mattingly decided to move on.