Don Mattingly And Los Angeles Dodgers Mutually Part Ways

Apparently three straight National League West titles and a 446-363 (.551) record was not enough for the Los Angeles Dodgers as they cut ties with manager Don Mattingly, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The decision to part ways was mutual. 

During his five year tenure, Mattingly was the only Dodger manager to ever win three straight division titles, but the front office was looking for him to take the team further than just the NL West. 

To his credit, Mattingly was never able to solidify a pitching staff behind Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in 2015 due to early injuries to Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy. Mattingly was not provided with a consistent bullpen, besides closer Kenley Jansen

"There's always going to be a desire to label this: Was he let go? Did he resign?" Farhan Zaidi said during a news conference Thursday. "Understanding that, and frankly, I've had my own level of cynicism when you hear of people mutually parting ways. But we can sit up here with all sincerity and say that's how it came about.

"It was a conversation, it was an organic dialogue that just led to this point, Donnie feeling like maybe he needed a change, us feeling like taking the organization forward, if that was his state of mind, maybe it was a good time for us to make a change."

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Greinke will leave the Dodgers and become among the leading free agents this offseason. The 32-year-old should have all 30 teams keeping an eye out, but he will demand big pay.

It took less than 30 minutes for reports to arise that the Miami Marlins are highly interested in Mattingly, as Joe Frisario of reported early Thursday morning. It was noted by Heyman in early October that the Marlins were going to keep an eye out for Mattingly.

The 54-year-old hit .307/.358/.471 over his entire 14 year career, all with the New York Yankees. Mattingly compiled 222 home runs and 1,099 RBI. He won the American League Most Valuable Player in 1985 with a .324 batting average, 35 home runs and 145 RBI over 159 games played.

After retirement, Mattingly was on New York's coaching staff from 1997-2007, serving as a special instructor during Spring Training and as a hitting coach from 2003-2007. Mattingly was a finalist for the managerial position after the 2007 season, but was beat out by Joe Girardi, who still manages the Yankees today. 

Mattingly joined his friend, Joe Torre, on the Dodgers coaching staff. Torre retired after the 2010 season, which allowed Mattingly to replace him and become a manager for the first time in his baseball career. 

Los Angeles ended the 2015 season with a National League Division Series loss at the hands of the New York Mets, who moved on and swept the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series and advanced to the World Series. 

The former manager is noted as the best Yankee player to never play in a World Series. Meanwhile, he never has won a World Series as a manager. The hunt for a title will continue for Mattingly, just no longer with the Dodgers. 

"I'm honored and proud to have had the opportunity to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers," Mattingly said in a statement. "I've enjoyed my experiences and relationships with the organization's staff and players throughout my eight years in L.A. After meeting with Andrew, Farhan and Josh, we all felt that a fresh start would be good for both the organization and me. We talked about several scenarios, including my returning in 2016. However, I believe this is the right time and right move for both parties. I'm still very passionate about managing and hope to get the opportunity in the near future. In the meantime, I want to thank the Dodger organization, the city and our fans for the opportunity and wish the club well going forward."