Off Topic: Congrats to Don Mattingly
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.