The New York Times reported Wednesday online that former Yankees great Don Mattingly had a telephone interview last week with Cleveland Indians GM mark Shapiro. A telephone interview with a GM or owner is usually the first step in a managerial interview process.
However, it does not seem as if Mattingly is interested in the Cleveland job. “I definitely want to manage,” Mattingly said. “I just don’t think it’s the time right now. I spoke to the guys in Cleveland, it was a week ago or so. I wanted to keep it quiet. I didn’t want it to be a distraction at all to our club because we need to focus on what we’re doing right here right now. After that, there’s plenty of time for that.”
Current Dodger’s skipper Joe Torre said earlier this month that he does not intend to continue managing beyond next season – when his 3-year contract ends. Mattingly is most likely the next coach in LA, but he could also be doing what Joe Girardi did in 2007.
Mid-season, Girardi was offered the Baltimore Orioles managerial position but declined the opportunity because he didn’t feel it was right for his family. A few months later, Torre was forced out of New York and the Yankee brass interviewed Girardi and Mattingly, finally offering it to Girardi.
I obviously don’t know Mattingly, but I would assume his overall goal is to manage the Yankees – the team he played with for his entire career. Girardi was the right decision for the Yankees at the time – he had some managerial experience, while Mattingly only had coaching experience. Girardi won’t be the Yankees manager forever – unless he consistently wins for a long period – opening up the opportunity for someone like Mattingly in 2-10 years.