More from The Times' visit with Don Mattingly
To report on a story on Don Mattingly that ran in Tuesday's print edition of The Times, I visited the Arizona Fall League for a few days last week. Here are some tidbits I collected that didn’t make the story:
-- Several members of Mattingly’s coaching staff were at one of the games I attended -- Trey Hillman (bench coach), Tim Wallach (third-base coach), Jeff Pentland (hitting coach) and Rick Honeycutt (pitching coach). The group sat with General Manager Ned Colletti, who has been out to Arizona at least once a week during the Fall League season.
-- Shortly after the Dodgers announced Mattingly would replace Joe Torre as manager next season, Mattingly asked third-base coach Larry Bowa to be his bench coach. But Colletti wanted to go in a different direction. Mattingly wouldn’t say anything specific about what happened, but said this about Bowa: “You know what? It’s difficult. I’ll say that. I don’t know if I want to go much further than that. Bo’s knowledge, the way he sees the game is as good as I’ve seen. It’s a difficult situation.”
-- Mattingly said he doesn’t feel threatened by Wallach’s presence on his coaching staff. Wallach, who managed the Dodgers’ triple-A affiliate for the last two seasons, is considered to be a top managerial prospect. “I went through that with [Joe] Girardi in New York,” Mattingly said. “It’s one of those things. It’s not uncomfortable for me. I don’t think it’s for him either.” Girardi was chosen over Mattingly to manage the Yankees in the fall of 2007.
-- The Dodgers traded Mattingly’s son, former first-round pick Preston Mattingly, at the Mattinglys’ request. The Dodgers sent Preston, a minor-league infielder, to the Cleveland Indians. “I really appreciate that they did that,” Don said. “We kind of talked about it. He wasn’t playing. He didn’t do enough to warrant playing time. He’s 22. You don’t want to wait until he’s 24. I thought it was good that they did it. For him, it’s a new start, gives him a new opportunity. He still wants to try.”
-- Of the Dodgers’ position players in the Fall League, Mattingly said outfielder Trayvon Robinson is the most advanced. I spent some time talking to Robinson and will have more on him on this blog next week.
-- As I mentioned in the story, almost no one is at these games. At the first game I attended, there was a dead bird in the stands behind home plate. The bat boy was an old man in a maroon shirt and tan shorts who wore an oversized black helmet.
-- Dylan Hernandez