MIAMI. Don Mattingly wants the best for the Miami Marlins, the best for himself and his family.
And I decided it was time to move on.
Mattingly will not return as Marlins manager next season, announcing that he and team officials have decided a new voice is needed to lead the club forward.
Mattingly’s contract expires at the end of the season. He said he met with Marlins principal owner Bruce Sherman and general manager Kim Ng to talk about the future, and “all parties agreed” it was time for a change.
“I always think you’re trying to follow your heart,” Mattingly said on Sunday. “And that’s what I do. Honestly, you know what’s inside you and you try to be thoughtful and let things take their course and you just follow your heart and you know when it’s right.”
His short term post-season plan is to spend time with his family at his home in Evansville, Indiana. After that, everything that happens, happens.
“I am proud to have been the manager of the Marlins for the past seven years and have enjoyed my experience and the relationships I have developed within the organization,” Mattingly said.
Mattingly, the club’s all-time leader in management wins by a wide margin, is finishing his seventh season with the Marlins. He’s 437-584 in Miami, with one winning season in those seven years – 31-29 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, when the team made the playoffs for the first time since 2003.
“In general, the clubs I’ve played in have always played hard,” Mattingly said. “I’ve always been proud of it.”
His decision means that a season that began with a big reshuffle at Miami is now ending with another one. In February, Hall of Famer Derek Jeter, who was Miami’s general manager, the first black man in baseball history to hold that position with a franchise, announced his unexpected departure after 4 1/2 mostly unsuccessful years that didn’t even come close to matching his success. as a New York Yankees player.
Now Mattingly’s transition is underway, which means someone else will be in charge when the team assembles for spring training.
“Donnie is one of my favorites,” Washington Capitals manager Dave Martinez said Sunday. “We are going back, played against him. He’s just a very good baseball player. I love him to death. I learned a lot from him over the years watching him and competing with him.”
Mattingly, 61, played 12 seasons, the first five of which were with the Los Angeles Dodgers. All five Dodgers clubs had winning records, with three of them making the playoffs.
The Marlins hoped for a similar success, but not as planned. Mattingly was named NL Manager of the Year in 2020 after Miami made the playoffs, but otherwise the franchise has been in constant rebuild mode.
“We’re lucky to have Don Mattingly leading our team on the field for the past seven years,” Sherman said. “He represented the Marlins, our players, our fans, and the South Florida community with unrivaled dignity and pride.”
Sunday news came on the sixth anniversary of the darkest day in team history when the Marlins ace Jose Fernandez and two other people were killed when their 32-foot boat crashed into a dock off Miami Beach on September 25, 2016.
The charismatic, energetic Fernandez, well-loved in Miami’s Hispanic community and touted as the future of the franchise, went 38-17 in four seasons at the club, winning the 2013 NL Rookie of the Year award and being named a two-time All-Star.
Fernandez’s death at the end of Mattingly’s first season set the Marlins back. But Mattingly saw them through, ending a 17-year playoff drought in 2020.
“Donny is just an unbeatable professional and an amazing person,” Ng said during Sunday’s game. “He has taken the organization through some pretty tough times, especially early in his tenure and then in the last couple of years due to the pandemic and lockout.”
Ng said the decision came after a series of conversations between Mattingly and the main office, when the future captain decided not to sign a new contract and the team decided they would not offer one.
“This year has been very disappointing,” Ng said. “We were very unlucky with injuries. The record is not indicative of the talent we have. We need to do a lot of introspection in terms of our processes and operations to see how we can fix this. I’m still optimistic about what we have.”
The Marlins have not been in first place for a single day since August 16, 2020. With the exception of a few random days in April, they have not been ranked No. 1 in a 162-game regular season since June 2014. And this season will be the 12th time in the last 13 years they have finished on a losing streak.
“I don’t know what his plans are, but he will be missed,” Martinez said. “I wish him all the best.”
It’s clear: Mattingly’s revelation on Sunday was not a retirement announcement.
“I feel great,” Mattingly said. “My mind is still working. Some of you guys may think differently from time to time, but I feel like my mind is working well. My body feels great, still feel good. So I don’t want to sit on the couch, that’s for sure.”
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will “forever be known as the upset kings of October” for their incredible victory in the 2021 World Series as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.
Biden called the Braves race “unstoppable and joyful.” The team visited the White House just over a week before the end of the 2022 regular season and the resumption of the Major League Baseball playoffs. The Braves are 1.5 games behind the New York Mets in the National League Eastern but have secured a spot in the MLB playoffs starting October 7th. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk expressed his hope that they would return to the White House again soon. .
In August 2021, the Braves were in disarray, playing at barely .500. But then they started winning. And they continued like that, winning the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.
Biden called their performance “the greatest turn in history.”
“This team has literally been a part of American history for over 150 years,” Biden said. “But none of it came easy… people considered you. Hell, I know a thing or two about being left out.
The players lined up on stands behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most talked about was a player who hadn’t been on the team for nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.
Hammerin Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a lefthand blow on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players in Atlanta and baseball history, a keen chronicler of hardships. was thrown along the way, from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced while chasing one of America’s most sacred records. He died in January at the age of 86.
“This team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.
McGuirk said that Aaron, who held positions at the team’s headquarters and was one of the few black leaders in Major League Baseball, was watching them.
“If he were here, he would be with us every step of the way,” McGuirk added.
The president often honors major league champions and some college athletic champions with a ceremony at the White House, usually a non-partisan one, in which the commander-in-chief pays homage to the prowess of the champions, poses for photographs, and leaves with the team jersey.
These visits were highly valued by the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric regarding police, immigration, and more. Trump, for his part, did not like criticism from athletes or their expression of political views on the field.
Under Biden, the tradition seems to have returned. He hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday, he joked about First Lady Jill Biden’s affections for Philadelphia.
“Like every Philadelphia fan, she is convinced that she knows more about everything in sports than anyone else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too kind to the Atlanta team because they had beaten the Phillies in extra innings the night before.
Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later asked about the team’s name, especially as other professional sports teams dropped names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians and Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – after years of complaints from Native. American groups over images and symbols.
She said it was important for the country to have a conversation. “And the voices of Native Americans and First Nations—they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.
Biden backed MLB’s decision to move the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics say is too restrictive.