The New York Yankees 2013 season has been over for a week now, but it hasn't stopped the chatter for the future plans for 2014 and beyond, especially who will be managing the team.
Right now, the Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman would love to have Joe Girardi back with the team, as they have an offer out right now for him to continue to be the team's manager, but Girardi has options; quite a few of them.
The Chicago Cubs job is open, and it's been widely talked about him bolting out of the Bronx to head home and manage the team that he came up with as a professional back in 1989. This past week, the Washington Nationals job also became tied to Girardi too, as Mike Rizzo has asked for permission to speak with Girardi on their vacancy due to Davey Johnson retiring.
So right now, it's no sure thing that Girardi comes back to the Yankees, who seem to be going through a bit of a transition phase with the missed postseason and the retirements of Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte this past season.
If Girardi were to take another job elsewhere, who would make sense for the Yankees as their next manager? Don Mattingly's name has come up quite a bit, as he was the runner-up in 2007 for the job and lost out to Girardi when the team interviewed both guys following Joe Torre's departure.
Mattingly is currently managing the Los Angeles Dodgers and as of Sunday night, was one game away from leading his team into the National League Championship Series over the Atlanta Braves, but he's also doing this without a guaranteed contract beyond November 1; although the Dodgers do have a club option on their manager for 2014.
But some baseball writers have wondered if Mattingly is really the guy that the Dodgers want to go with into the future, especially considering back in May, when the Dodgers were in last place of the N.L. West, Mattingly was very close to being fired as manager, but the team went on one of the most amazing runs going from worst to first in a span of two months and saved Mattingly from getting the pink slip.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and WFAN talked to people within the Dodgers organization and one felt that while he's had success, "he was never really the Dodgers guy to begin with," thus, the contract extension not coming sooner, which makes people wonder if the Dodgers could look to hire someone else after the season.
If Mattingly were to leave, it would make too much sense for him not to come back to the Bronx and manage the team that he played on for 13 years and was one of the most beloved players on. When you mention Mattingly's name around Yankee faithful, they remember the memories, the hustle, the great hitting, the what could have been if the team had better players in the 1980's, and the final season in 1995 and playoff series against the Seattle Mariners.
If you asked some of those fans if they would like to have Mattingly as the manager, chances are, they'd say yes. And if you asked some of the fans if they could go back to 2007 again and choose between Girardi and Mattingly, some fans might pick Mattingly, and some have wondered if Brian Cashman could go back to 2007 and choose the manager again, if he would pick Girardi again over Mattingly? It's hard to say on that one, especially since Girardi has a World Series under his belt.
If the Dodgers make a major run to the World Series, it would seem likely that Mattingly would get re-signed, but at this point, everything is most certainly up in the air. If the Dodgers don't bring Mattingly back, and if Girardi ends up leaving the Bronx for Chicago or Washington, you would almost have to think Cashman's first call could be to Mattingly and his agent.
During last week's press conference for the Dodgers, one of the reporters asked Mattingly flat out, "so if Girardi goes to the Cubs, are you going back to the Yankees?" And Mattingly did his best P.R. job to talk about not thinking about that kind of stuff and how they were trying to win playoff games.
But from the answer he gave; he never said no. So maybe in all of this, the Bronx return could be on his mind.
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