Mattingly sees manager of the year award as organizational recognition

Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly celebrates with the team in clinching a playoff berth after their win in the 10th inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin) (Corey Sipkin, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

MIAMI – Marlins manager Don Mattingly is excited to have been named Manager of the Year for 2020.

He received the honor from the Sporting News.

However, it’s not about a personal accolade.

The Marlins skipper said Tuesday, “I’m usually a guy that gets excited about that kind of stuff. I’ve had enough success with MVP and batting titles that don’t make me excited. This is one that’s exciting, but it’s not exciting just for me. I look at this award as an organizational award. You have to have a great staff. Your players have to go perform. So as an organization, I feel it’s so good to be recognized because you know where we’ve been the last couple of seasons.”

The Marlins had a remarkable 2020 season.

They lost 18 players early in the year because of an outbreak of Covid-19.

Still, Mattingly was able to guide the Marlins to their first playoff appearance since 2003.

The Marlins won the Wild Card Series against the Chicago Cubs, before being eliminated by the Atlanta Braves in the Divisional Round.

Mattingly said, “You get them when your team is not expected to do a lot and you kind of overachieve. And I think that’s where we’re at. Moving forward. So that’s kind of the reason my excitement about this because everybody gets this and it shows we’re heading in the right direction.”

Mattingly said he wasn’t sure about any possible changes to his staff for the upcoming season.

The Marlins manager said a lot of guys could make a big jump going forward.

He singled out outfielder Lewis Brinson as making huge strides during the 2020 season and sees potential for him to make even bigger jumps next year.

Mattingly also credited infielder Jazz Chisholm as someone who sees the baseball early in pitches and can be a really good hitter in the future.

The Marlins parted ways with President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill.

Mattingly said, “It was a tough week... From a personal standpoint it was tough because Mike, you work five years together. Been fighting to get this thing built. He was in Miami before I came, this was a relationship you build with someone you deal with every day.”

Mattingly said he knows it’s hard on a personal level, but that’s part of the business.

Mattingly said when he read the comments of CEO Derek Jeter, he said decisions have been more group decisions at both the Major League level and throughout the franchise.

About the Author:

David Lang is executive producer of the Local 10 sports department.