PHILADELPHIA -- Marlins bench coach Tim Wallach, a mainstay on manager Don Mattingly’s staffs for nine straight seasons, will step away from the coaching ranks at the end of the season to spend more time with his family in California.
Wallach has been mulling the decision for months, and he recently informed Mattingly of his intentions. The two were together first with the Dodgers (2011-15) and during the past four seasons with the Marlins. On Friday, he informed the rest of the staff that he would not be returning.
“I think it's time for me to get back on the West Coast,” Wallach told MLB.com. “I have four grandkids, and it's just tough. It's been tough being far away. I've loved being here, and I can't thank the Marlins enough for giving me the opportunity here. They've treated me, my family and everybody tremendously.”
Wallach, who turned 62 on Sept. 14, and his wife, Lori, have been married for 34 years, and they have three sons -- Matt, Brett and Chad. They make their home in Yorba Linda, Calif.
Chad Wallach is a backup catcher with the Marlins, and he missed more than half the season due to a concussion.
“He will be fine,” Tim Wallach said of Chad. “He belongs at this level.”
From 2011-13, Wallach was Los Angeles’ third-base coach, and in '14, he became the bench coach. Like the rest of the Marlins staff, Wallach's contract expires at the end of the season.
Although Wallach is moving on, he says the Marlins remain in good hands with Mattingly staying on as manager.
“Most of all, I want to make people realize what they have in Donnie,” Wallach said. “He's the main reason that I came here. It's been a pleasure working with him for nine years. They got the right guy. And I've been lucky to work with some incredible coaches during my time with the Marlins.”
The Marlins plan to address their entire coaching staff in the upcoming weeks. Earlier this month, the club announced Mattingly had signed a two-year extension through 2021, with an option for '22.
“We've talked about it,” Wallach said of his thought process to get back to California. “Donnie could kind of see it a couple of years ago. This has kind of been a tough deal because my wife, and all our family, is out there.”
Wallach insists he is not “retiring,” and he still wants to be part of the game, but in a situation where he is closer to home.
“I'm so appreciative of having the time with Wally,” Mattingly said. “He's such a good baseball man. I know exactly the position he's in. He's away from family. He's from the West Coast, he's here on the East Coast. You just get disconnected from your family, and at some point, it becomes too much.”
Wallach also noted the Marlins, a team in the building process, are headed in the right direction.
"There is no question about it," Wallach said. "That's going to be the hard part, not seeing this come to fruition, and I think it will. I think it's going to start coming fast. I will be paying attention, watching and rooting for them. There's a lot of good kids in here who have worked hard, and there's a lot more coming."
As a player, Wallach was a five-time All-Star in a big league career that spanned 17 seasons (from 1980-96) with the Montreal Expos and Dodgers.
“You always want what's best for those guys,” Mattingly said. “And you want them to be in the spot that they want to be in. I was happy that he came to Miami. It made it a lot easier for me coming here.”
Considering his experience as a player and coach, Mattingly felt Wallach was deserving of a big league managerial job. Although he had interviewed with clubs in the past, he never got the opportunity.
“I'm disappointed, honestly, that he didn't get a managing job,” Mattingly said. “I think he would be great. He sees the game really well. He's got a good way with players.”
Montreal selected Wallach in the first round of the 1979 Draft out of Cal State Fullerton, and he made his big league debut in '80. He has spent 40 years in professional baseball, and he would welcome another opportunity under the right circumstances.
“I wouldn't say I'm retiring,” Wallach said. “I'd love to stay in the game somehow. It just would be better if it were closer to home. I'm not saying that I'm done because I love the game. It's what I've done for 40-some years.
“I'd love to be part of something in the game. I don't know what that is or what's to come. But if it ends up being it, I'm OK with it. I have a pretty good family I'm going to be hanging around with.”