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Don Mattingly takes coaching job with Yankees rival, passes on YES broadcast opportunity

NJ.com 11/30/2022 Randy Miller, nj.com

So much for Don Mattingly rejoining the Yankees as a YES Network broadcaster. Instead, Donnie Baseball will be looking to beat the Yankees as a rival coach.

While reportedly on YES Network’s radar, Mattingly joined the Toronto Blue Jays as bench coach for manager John Schneider, the club announced Wednesday morning.

Mattingly, 61, has managed in the big leagues the last 12 seasons, the first five for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the last seven with the Miami Marlins. He resigned after the Marlins finished fourth in the NL East last season with a 69-93 record.

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The Blue Jays and Yankees are AL East rivals and finished 1-2 this past season. The. Yankees won the division with a 99-63 mark, while the Blue Jays finished second and earned an AL Wild Card berth with a 92-70 record.

As a player, Mattingly was a Yankees great who spent his entire 14-year career with the club. The six-time All-Star first baseman and 1985 AL MVP was a career .307 hitter with 222 homers.

Mattingly fell short of being elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame 15 times on the BBWAA ballot from 2001-15, but has another shot to get next year on the Contemporary Baseball Era ballot. He’s one of 15 candidates. Winners will be announced Sunday night. Fred McGriff, another first baseman, is a favorite to get in over the likes of Mattingly, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Albert Belle, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro and Curt Schilling.

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After retiring, Mattingly was a Yankees special spring training instructor in Tampa from 1997-2003 before taking on a full-time job in 2004 as hitting coach for manager Joe Torre. Mattingly was the Yankees’ hitting coach for three seasons, then followed Torre to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008.

When Torre retired, Mattingly succeeded his mentor. He led the Dodgers to five consecutive winning seasons and NL West titles from 2013-15, but his clubs fell short of winning a pennant.

With the small-market Marlins, Mattingly’s clubs had losing seasons six times in seven years, the exception coming in the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign when Miami finished 31-29, made the playoffs as a Wild Card and upset the Chicago Cubs in a best-of-three series before losing a best-of-five Division Series to the Atlanta Braves.

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Randy Miller may be reached at rmiller@njadvancemedia.com.

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