MIAMI -- Marlins manager Don Mattingly embraces the challenge of trying to turn around a Miami franchise that hasn't had a winning season since 2009, or a postseason appearance since the 2003 World Series championship.Mattingly is the organization's eighth manager since 2010, and he was hired to create stability and
MIAMI -- Marlins manager Don Mattingly embraces the challenge of trying to turn around a Miami franchise that hasn't had a winning season since 2009, or a postseason appearance since the 2003 World Series championship.
Mattingly is the organization's eighth manager since 2010, and he was hired to create stability and bring winning baseball to South Florida.
"I hope our club can create some excitement," Mattingly said prior to Tuesday's opener against the Tigers. "We have good, young players who have had good seasons individually. This is really about them. I hope we can create some excitement here and get to where we get people excited about Marlins baseball. That's what I'm looking forward to: us being in a pennant race and having this place filled on a daily basis where these guys kind of show up and do their thing."
After parting ways with the Dodgers and being hired by the Marlins, Mattingly's first priority was assembling a top-notch staff. It started with the hiring of Tim Wallach as bench coach.
Wallach, who spent five years with Mattingly in Los Angeles, spoke with MLB.com on Tuesday about what to expect from the first-year Marlins manager.
MLB.com: What is Mattingly like on a daily basis?
Wallach: Nothing is going to force him to overreact, panic, anything in that realm. He's got a patience and a calmness about him that I think makes him successful.
MLB.com: What are some of the characteristics he possesses to help him connect with his players?
Wallach: He never lets anything fester. As soon as he sees something he thinks needs to be addressed, he addresses it immediately.
MLB.com: How does he handle being Don Mattingly, who was an icon player and high-profile manager?
Wallach: You would never know he is who he is unless you know what he's done. He's just a guy that is trying to do the best for 25 guys on the field, and the rest of the staff.
MLB.com: The transition from the Dodgers to the Marlins. How has that been?
Wallach: I think it's been great. I know he's enjoyed it, I know we've all enjoyed it. It's been a breath of fresh air for us.
MLB.com: What's exciting about Miami and this team?
Wallach: The youth. The talent. I think the city is definitely ready for this team to become who everybody thought they might be last year.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.