Off Topic: Congrats to Don Mattingly

Don Mattingly and Joe Janish enjoying clam chowder on the Cape

Since the Mets are barely interesting, and will continue to be until at least early November — when the World Series is over and MLB teams are allowed to make announcements again — we will mix in “Off Topic” posts here to provide more engaging content than what we’re getting from the Flushing Futiles.

That said, I want to publicly congratulate a man I worked for a few years ago: Don Mattingly. The Dodgers have announced that “Donnie Baseball” will be their manager after Joe Torre steps down at the end of this season.

From my experience working with him and his company Mattingly Hitting Products, I can tell you firsthand he is in real life the same person he appears to be publicly — a hard working, down to earth, intelligent, open-minded, all-around great guy with a positive, winning attitude and personality that make people want to follow him. At the same time he is completely comfortable in his own skin, and makes you feel comfortable in his presence — i.e., a guy with whom you can sit down and talk baseball for hours on end and forget that you are chatting with an icon whose plaque is in Yankee Stadium’s Memorial Park.

Will Mattingly be a great manager? We may have an idea around this time next year. Already there are people concerned with his lack of managerial experience, but the man he’s replacing — Joe Torre — had neither managing nor coaching exprience when he began his career in the dugout with the Mets, so who’s to say if it matters?

Whatever happens, I wish him the best of luck, and will quietly root for him — except when the Dodgers play the Mets.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. 86mets September 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm
    Congrats to Donnie Baseball. Too bad some of his players didn’t know about his playing career (i.e., Matt Kemp). How out of touch today’s players are wth the games history that a guy like Kemp doesn’t have any idea of his new managers’ own outstanding career. Can you imagine someone playing for the Charlotte Bobcats of the NBA and not knowing about owner Michael Jordan’s playing career? Wouldn’t happen! Good Luck Don, you’re gonna need it I’m afraid.
  2. Timo September 20, 2010 at 1:10 pm
    Nice idea with “off topics”. However, the correct caption should have been “I had clam CHOWDA with Donnie baseball.” Keep it coming.