It’s been 35 years since Don Mattingly won the AL MVP as a New York Yankee. Three and a half decades later, he became the fifth person to win an MVP and Manager of the Year award. The others? Frank Robinson, Joe Torre, Don Baylor and Kirk Gibson.
He was the skipper of the LA Dodgers from 2011-2015 and didn’t have a single season under .500, but when he got to Miami in 2016 he inherited an awful team. His first season he finished 79-82, as he dealt with the tragic death of Jose Fernandez. The next season they went 77-85, before tearing it down and dealing Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon. In 2018 they won only 68 games and in 2019 they lost 105.
With zero expectation, the Marlins seemingly went from bad to worse the first week of the season when the team had 18 different players test positive for COVID-19. Only five players were on the roster all 60 games and the team made 174 roster moves, or an average of just under three moves before each game. The expectation? The team’s first playoff berth since 2003 and sweeping the Cubs out of the playoffs at Wrigley. Performances from players such as former All-Stars Corey Dickerson, Brian Anderson and Jesus Aguilar played pivotal roles.
This is Mattingly’s first Manager of the Year award since Joe Girardi in 2006. He is the third Marlin overall to win the award, the other being Jack McKeon. Congratulations to Don Mattingly.