Mattingly: Mutual parting 'best for both parties'
Former manager praises Friedman, Byrnes, Zaidi in conference call
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers and Don Mattingly not only had a mutual parting, but they also had mutual difficulty explaining it.
After president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman conceded he couldn't really pinpoint why it happened, Mattingly held a conference call and couldn't -- or wouldn't -- either.
"I don't really want to get into details of conversations other than they were good, open, honest, and again, as we kept talking, it just became evident this was best for both parties," Mattingly said. "I felt very comfortable with Andrew, Josh [Byrnes] and Farhan [Zaidi]; that situation was really good. It was a learning thing for me. I really enjoyed it. I just felt as we kept talking, it became best for me and best for the club. We've had a great relationship all year long -- Andrew, Farhan, Josh -- as we kept going and talking it became clear to all of us."
Mattingly repeatedly praised Friedman, Zaidi and Byrnes, the new front office that inherited him. He never mentioned by name CEO Stan Kasten, who hired Friedman a year ago to replace general manager Ned Colletti. Mattingly also didn't mention chairman Mark Walter, who had been Mattingly's most strident supporter.
Nonetheless, Mattingly was asked what he would tell his eventual successor about the organization.
"I would tell them it's a great organization with great guys and they are going to do great things," he said. "The organization is in great hands, in great shape. Personally, I'm really proud of the things we were able to accomplish. They're going to keep going. It's in great shape right now."
Mattingly also took the high road when asked about Los Angeles fans.
"I would say thank you to the fans of Los Angeles," he said. "I'm proud of my staff and the organization and what we were able to accomplish, and I'm sorry we weren't able to accomplish more."
Mattingly seemed to bristle when asked if his departure should be considered a resignation.
"You could ask it all you want, back and forth and sideways," he said. "It's a mutual decision, we had a great relationship. I was honored to have worked for the Dodgers. I'm thankful and grateful. It was the right time for both parties."
Mattingly will be paid for the final year of his contract by the Dodgers, apparently even if he signs to manage elsewhere, and he's rumored on the short lists for Washington and Miami. He said his reluctance to elaborate on details of his departure were not tied to a confidentiality agreement.
"I can say whatever I want," he said.
Mattingly also disputed the perception that analytics and front-office input combined to make an untenable situation.
"I think it's great. I love it," he said of analytics. "I love information, the analysis of players, I think it's great. Information is really good. Do I agree 1,000 percent with everything that comes through it? Probably not. But the way we analyze players and analyze situations, I think analytics are nothing but great information for me.
"I look at [the relationship with the front office] as a collaboration and working together. Every year I managed, just better information. I feel like I had a great relationship with Andrew, Farhan and Josh, really kind of forever. Not strained in any way. I feel I'm always the kind of guy that can work with anyone. Exchange of ideas are good. At the end of the day, you put the lineup out there."