Former Marlins and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly joins Blue Jays as bench coach
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TORONTO – Blue Jays manager John Schneider will have a new right-hand man in the dugout next season.
Don Mattingly, a Yankees legend who went on to serve as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers and most recently the Miami Marlins, was named Toronto’s bench coach on Wednesday.
“There’s passion around the club,” Mattingly said. “I think all the ingredients are there to win.”
Interim bench coach Casey Candaele will return to Triple-A Buffalo to resume his job as manager of the Bisons, the Blue Jays said. Like Schneider, he was promoted when the Blue Jays fired manager Charlie Montoyo in July.
General manager Ross Atkins said Mattingly offers a calm, steady approach and has plenty of experience.
“He will help the group and the staff from a leadership and accountability standpoint,” Atkins said. “Not that that was an area of need, but I think it helps us take another step.”
Mattingly spent the last seven seasons as manager of the Marlins. He announced in September that he would not seek a new contract with the team.
The Blue Jays finished second in the AL East at 92-70, seven games behind the Yankees. Toronto was swept in a wild-card playoff series by the Seattle Mariners.
“I’m here to help. My only success comes from their success,” Mattingly said of his coaching approach. “It’s not ever going to be about me.
“It’s going to be about whoever the player is and whatever way we’re trying to help him.”
A six-time all-star over a 14-year big-league playing career with the Yankees, Mattingly also previously spent five seasons as manager of the Dodgers.
Mattingly, 61, won three division titles with Los Angeles and was named National League manager of the year in 2020 with the Marlins. Miami finished with a 69-93 record this year.
Atkins said the team had over 45 names on its initial list for the bench coach position. That list was eventually narrowed down to four candidates before Mattingly got the nod.
“It was great getting to know Don throughout this process and we are very excited about the experience he brings with him, from the variety of roles he has had over the years,” Schneider said in a release.
“The organization and I are looking forward to his impact on the players and staff, as we look ahead to an exciting 2023 season.”
After retiring as a player, Mattingly worked as a hitting coach and bench coach for the Yankees. He also served as a hitting coach for the Dodgers before his managerial stint in Los Angeles.
Mattingly won nine Gold Glove awards at first base. He also won the 1984 batting title, was named AL MVP in 1985 and earned three Silver Slugger awards.
“Coming from someone with his experiences to help players remember where to focus, where the important levers are to be pulling and how to get back to the process (will be valuable),” said Atkins, who attended a lunch meeting with members of the Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
“He certainly has the credibility and experience to do that in a significant way.”
The Blue Jays plan to announce their full 2023 coaching staff in the coming weeks, the team said. No other significant changes are expected.
After Schneider was promoted from bench coach to interim manager, he guided the Blue Jays to a 46-28 mark over the rest of the season.
Mattingly said he’s already had four or five conversations with Schneider on game-planning and other subjects.
“I think we’re going to be great, honestly,” Mattingly said on a video call with reporters. “I loved talking with John. I can tell that he’s totally organized in what he wants to do.”
Schneider had the interim tag removed on Oct. 21 and agreed to a three-year deal as manager with a team option for the 2026 campaign.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2022.
With files from The Associated Press. Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.