While Joe Torre took a split-squad of Dodgers on a Spring Training tour of Taiwan, I got to hang out with Don Mattingly and the rest of the Dodgers in Arizona and was impressed by his first-ever managerial baby steps.
I’ll probably get to do it again in a few weeks when Mattingly further cuts his managerial teeth in the Arizona Fall League, and look forward to having him in the National League.
Probably, so is Bruce Bochy. Remember the Giants manager’s July 20 call-out of Mattingly, running the Dodgers in the wake of Torre’s ejection, for doubling back on the mound dirt – leading to the forced removal of Jonathan Broxton and three runs and a 7-5 comeback win?
That gaffe merely continued the accelerated education of Mattingly, who perpetuates the East Coast lineage of recent Dodgers managers, following Grady Little and Torre.
One necessary fallout of the trend to import skippers is bypassing deserving candidates within the Dodgers’ own system. Tim Wallach, their Triple-A manager the last two seasons, just got the Mike Scioscia treatment. So we can probably expect to see Wallach in the offseason scrub for managerial openings elsewhere.
Scioscia managed the same Albuquerque team in 1999, but with Davey Johnson having been brought in to run the big club, took a job in 2000 with the Angels. Wonder how that move turned out?
For whatever reason — and the franchise has been through three different ownerships in the interim — the Dodgers have avoided in-house managerial promotions since former shortstop Bill Russell took over for Tom Lasorda in the middle of the 1996 season and went 173-149 in his two years.