Clary: Don Mattingly A Great Fit For Miami Marlins

It's no secret, the Miami Marlins are one of the most messed up, dysfunctional organizations in all of sports.

Their futility has been well documented and at times downright psychotic: It began before the start of the 2012 season, when ownership used $350 million of taxpayer money to build the brand new, state-of-the-art Marlins Park as a way of promising fans the future would be better, and signed three high-profile free agents. However, the minute that things went south, it opted for one of the biggest fire sales in recent memory, sending away hundreds of million dollars worth of salaries in the process.

Then, in 2015, they fired their manager, Mike Redmond - who, only one year earlier was in the conversation for National League Manager of the Year - and then brought general manager Dan Jennings and his nearly-nonexistent on-field baseball resume down to the dugout to manage the club.

But let's forget about all that for a moment and focus on the current state of the Marlins franchise.

Right now, they have a managerial opening.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY, Phil Nevin and Larry Bowa have each interviewed twice with the Marlins, but Don Mattingly has emerged as the "favorite."

Okay, let's face it: it's Mattingly's job if he wants it. And, to put it bluntly, he is the right man for the job and it would be beneficial to both parties involved if he decided to join the organization.

While there are plenty of reasons to be dubious of managing the Marlins, there are also an abundance of bright spots on the roster that, with the proper molding and guidance, can contend for a division title in the weak NL East for years to come.

The solid group of elite, young talent is what first comes to mind. Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, unquestionably the best power threat in all of baseball, is the leader. Then there's Jose Fernandez, the 23-year-old former Rookie of the Year who is one of the game's most electric fireballers, to anchor the starting rotation. Add in young position players like Dee Gordon, Christian Yelich, Justin Bour, Adeiny Hechavarria and JT Realmunto, and the Marlins have a strong nucleus of club-controlled talent that the new manager can work with.

Giancarlo Stanton is one of the elite players in the game, and the centerpiece of the Marlins franchise. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

To Mattingly's credit, he is already looking ahead to the potential challenges that Miami would offer.

"It’s just an interesting place because of the young talent they have and the challenges that it brings with a young roster, with a situation that’s not going to go out and buy players," Mattingly said on the Dan Patrick Show. "They have to develop players. You have to be able to work from within.

"It’s a different challenge, and to be very honest, that’s really interesting to me at this point in my life, in my career. I am interested in that kind of challenge."

Would a reinvigorated Mattingly be a good fit for the Marlins? Absolutely.

It is easy to get caught up in the idea that since he could not win with the massive payroll he had at his disposal in L.A., he was a failed manager. However, that is definitely not accurate.

Yes, the team he managed happened to have the largest payroll in North American sports history. So what? That's not Mattingly's fault, but a result of some questionable decisions by the previous front office.

What Mattingly had was an imperfect roster with several holes and, when he did not win a World Series, he was made out to be a bad manager and was ultimately fired.

However, it's hard to not be impressed with what Mattingly accomplished at the helm of the Dodgers. In his five years, his club won more games (446) than the San Francisco Giants did under the leadership of Bruce Bochy (428). In the process, they won three consecutive NL West titles - he's the first Dodgers manager in history to do that - an outstanding feat that cannot be ignored.

Don Mattingly might have come up short in the playoffs with the Dodgers, but he still is a tremendous manager with an outstanding track record. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Mattingly proved to be fantastic at arguably the most important part of being a big league manager: he managed people. He had a roster that was full of highly-paid veterans who were used to being "the star" but Mattingly got them to mesh.

Even the Dodgers front office appreciated the 54-year-old Mattingly's efforts.

"His preparation has been tremendous," general manager Farhan Zaidi said via the Associated Press. "We see how thorough he is."

"I think he's done a very nice job this season with the roster turnover we've had and mixing and matching players. If you're going to tell me a team's success [or failure] is solely driven by the manager I just don't think that's true."

Mattingly's skill set as a manager is what makes the potential of the Marlins with him at the reins so tantalizing.

Miami is stocked with plenty of talent, they just need a solid, calm influence to keep everything moving in the right direction.

Getting the players to stay healthy would work wonders as well, but that's probably out of his control.

There are some areas that need to be improved in Miami to make the team a legitimate contender - such as the starting rotation, which left much to be desired when Fernandez was not on the hill - but Mattingly is the right guy for this organization.

He had a terrific five-year run in Los Angeles, he just didn't win enough in the postseason. Put him in charge of a young team that has all kinds of potential, and the sky could be the limit for the Marlins.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported on Wednesday afternoon that Mattingly and Miami are getting closer and closer to making a deal, so it is likely only a matter of days before an announcement is made.

It is the right move, one that will have a positive influence on both parties involved, and it won't be long until Mattingly is wearing teal and bright orange on a nightly basis.

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