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Is Tim Wallach sounding reminiscent of Mike Scioscia in Dodgers' managerial plans?

Tim Tim Wallach, manager. Has a nice ring. Seems like a natural fit.

And though he’d had a taste of managing for a season with the Angels’ Single-A team in San Bernardino in 2001, managing the Dodgers' Triple-A team in Albuquerque last season only cemented how he felt about managing.

"I love it," Wallach said. "I just love being able to basically run a baseball game. I love the relationships with the players. They’re all different, they’re all important every day. Just the whole thing I love. I love the whole spectrum of what I have to do."

Tim Wallach, Dodgers manager. Has a pretty nice ring too. But the fit? Someone else is already being sized up for the job.

Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said during the team’s pre-spring community caravan that a "succession was in place" when Joe Torre stepped down as manager.

It was understood to be hitting coach Don Mattingly, and on Wednesday, in his first game as split-squad manager while Torre is in Taiwan for a three-game series, Mattingly confirmed that the Dodgers spoke to him in the offseason about being Torre’s successor.
Mattingly has never managed. Wallach, who led Albuquerque to the playoffs last season and was named the Pacific Coast League manager of the year, will return to the helm of the Isotopes this season.

Does any of this sound familiar? Echoes of Mike Scioscia, perhaps?

When Tommy Lasorda finally stepped down, the Dodgers named coach Bill Russell to succeed him in 1997. Scioscia was a bench coach. When Russell was ousted in the middle of the ’98 season, Glenn Hoffman was named manager. When Hoffman was fired at the end of the season, Davey Johnson took over.

Scioscia, who in 1999 managed at Albuquerque, was passed over one time too many, resigned and then went onto become one of baseball’s finest managers for the Angels.

Wallach certainly has ambitions to manage at the major league level.

"Sure, I’d love to," Wallach said. "Whether that opportunity comes along, I don’t know, but certainly that’s a goal. And I had to find that out last year. I mean, I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I thought I could. There’s a lot more to it than I think you really realize until you actually do it. I learned a lot last year."

Wallach, who previously was the Dodgers hitting coach for two seasons, knows all about the Mattingly scenario, and said he understands and is fine with it.

"I’m not even concerning myself with that," he said. "I’m going to do my job this year. I’d love to manage here, certainly. But I’m very happy where I’m at. All that stuff, I’m not really concerned with. If an opportunity comes along, fantastic. If it doesn’t, then I’ll be happy being where I’m at."

Wallach also said he sees no problem with Mattingly’s inexperience as a manager.

"He’s a baseball guy," Wallach said. "He’s been Torre’s bench coach. I mean, I can’t even imagine how much he’s learned being with Joe all these years. If that’s how it works, I got … he’s a baseball guy. I think he’ll be fantastic.

"I’m getting experience to someday hopefully manage (in the majors). I would love it to be here, but if it’s not here, I appreciate the opportunity. I love the Dodgers. I always come back to the Dodgers. But they’re giving me an opportunity and I’m very happy with the opportunity."

-- Steve Dilbeck, reporting from Phoenix

Photo: Tim Wallach in 2004. Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (10)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wallach certainly says all the right things, and even if they're standard-issue comments, it's still a pleasure to hear a guy that's so high on what he's doing and who is willing to be patient and to pay his dues. It's also good to know there's some depth in the Dodger coaching ranks.

wont someone PLEAZZE tell Mattingly that he has a mouse nesting on his chin?

First game Mattlingly manages and the Dodgers line-up card is screwed up and Dodgers go batting out of order. Donnie Baseball is not Donnie Manager. Give Wallach a shot.

I wish there would be a process to choose the next manager of the Dodgers and not just hand it over to Mattingly. The best candidate should get the job. If it's Mattingly, so be it, but if it is Wallach or someone else (including a minority which I believe MLB will require them to interview, right?), that person should get the job.

I like the attitude of Tim Wallach, but I'm sure he'd grow weary, eventually, if he's left back when Mattingly gets the job.
To me, it's a weird situation, since I can't understand why Mattingly will make such a great manager.

Wallach knows what the deal is...that Mattingly is the chosen one. Wallach is right, though...Mattingly must have learned a lot as Torre's bench coach. Well, we'll just wait and see. Who knows, if Mattingly can't cut it, maybe Wallach will get a shot after all.

Glenn Hoffma nwas not named manager. nor was he fired. He was always an interim manager, and it was well understood that he was not going to manage the team in '99.

The analogy between Mike Scioscia and Tim Wallach fits well. Both are great guys and you can see the scenario unfolding where Wallach will be passed over for a guy like Mattingly, who has never managed and has a short history with the Dodgers. Personally, I would love to see the reins handed over to Wallach sooner, rather than later.

Wallach deserves a shot. He earned it. Mattingly has never managed little league. This is a no brainer. Keep Mattingly as batting coach.

why was steve yeager never given a chance?


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