Video: Interview with Don Mattingly, new Miami Marlins manager
The Marlins have a new manager — again.
Don Mattingly was formally introduced Monday as the 14th manager in Marlins franchise history.
Mattingly, 54, signed a four-year contract.
“I plan on being here at least 10,” Mattingly said.
Mattingly becomes the 10th manager for the Marlins — and seventh since 2010 — during Jeffrey Loria’s ownership tenure.
“We wanted this to be the last manager’s press conference we ever did,” Marlins president David Samson said. “We’ve done too many.”
Loria did not attend Monday’s news conference.
But in a prepared statement, Loria said: “Hiring a manager is one of the most important decisions a team can make, which is why it was so important for us to find the right long-term solution.”
The Marlins haven’t enjoyed a winning season since 2009 and haven’t been to the postseason since capturing the World Series in 2003.
They’re counting on Mattingly to help end the long dry spell.
Unlike the Marlins’ two previous managers — Mike Redmond and Dan Jennings — Mattingly brings big-league managerial experience.
He managed the Los Angeles Dodgers for five seasons before leaving the post after this season and accepting the Marlins job.
The Marlins interviewed a handful of candidates for the opening after deciding Jennings would not return to the dugout in 2016.
Jennings was relieved of his duties as general manager last week.
But Mattingly was always their primary focus, and when the former All-Star first baseman for the Yankees parted company with the Dodgers last week, the Marlins swooped in quickly to wrap up a deal.
Mattingly goes from a Dodgers team that boasted the highest payroll in the majors to a Marlins team that has the lowest.
“To me, the finances don’t have anything to do with it,” said Mattingly, who won three division titles with the Dodgers but failed to deliver a World Series title despite the team’s well-heeled roster.
Mattingly said the Marlins have the ingredients to win now.
“It’s a young, talented club that has a good core that has a chance to grow and develop,” Mattingly said. “For me, that was the single biggest thing, and the reason that I was so intrigued to coming to Miami.”
In addition to Mattingly, the Marlins also interviewed Larry Bowa, Manny Acta, Bo Porter, Phil Nevin, Rick Renteria, Mark DeRosa and Joey Cora. Mattingly said he did not accept the job without reservations based on the franchise’s history of perpetual upheaval involving roster and manager turnover.
“That was probably my biggest fear,” Mattingly said. “Are we just going to blow it up and start over, blow it up and start over? I wanted to be part of something that was continual growth.”
Mattingly will have a strong say in the hiring of his coaching staff.
He said his bench coach in Los Angeles, Tim Wallach, would be joining him with the Marlins in the same role.
He will also be involved in selecting a hitting and pitching coach.
The Marlins are retaining three coaches: infield/first base coach Perry Hill, assistant hitting coach Lenny Harris and bullpen coach Reid Cornelius. Hitting coach Frank Menechino is very much in the mix to be retained.
Mattingly has never been the flashy type and said that won’t change.
“If I have any style, it’s no style at all,” he said. “It’s pretty much grind it out, let’s show up, let’s be ready to play, let’s keep working.
“That’s kind of been me. Not a lot of B.S. with me. It’s pretty straightforward.”
But the Marlins are counting on Mattingly to bring change on the field.
“I want him to be Pat Riley, that’s the goal,” Samson said of the Heat’s wildly successful leader. “Someone who brings sustained winning.”