LOS ANGELES (AP) — Don Mattingly said Monday that his 2014 contract option vested with the Dodgers’ first-round playoff victory over Atlanta, but he isn’t sure he’ll be back as manager next season.
He said that the organization put him in a difficult position with his players by not exercising a team option going into the final year of his three-year deal.
“It’s been a frustrating, tough year, honestly,” he told reporters while sitting next to general manager Ned Colletti.
“It puts me in a spot that everything I do is questioned because I’m basically trying out and auditioning, can you manage or can’t you manage? That’s not a great position for me as a manager.”
Mattingly’s option worth $1.4 million would allow him to return, but the team has yet to say anything about his future.
Colletti said Mattingly’s status would be “resolved very quickly.” But it was apparent while Mattingly talked that he would like a multi-year deal.
“It’s pretty easy to figure out,” he said.
“I like being here, but I don’t want to be anywhere where you’re not wanted. I don’t want to be somewhere where people don’t think you’re capable of doing the job,” Mattingly said.
Colletti made it clear that he supports Mattingly’s return. But team President Stan Kasten and the ownership group headed by Mark Walter figure to have the final say.
“I think he did great,” Colletti said. “I have a lot of respect for this guy. He kept it steady for a tough period of time.”
Mattingly is 260-225 in three years as manager, guiding the Dodgers to the NL championship series, where they lost to St. Louis in six games last week.
When the Dodgers stumbled to start the season, falling to last in the NL West while injuries piled up, speculation was rampant that Mattingly would be fired. Kasten indicated to him at the time that things needed to improve for Mattingly to keep his job.
The team won 42 of 50 games during a torrid midseason stretch to take over first place and eventually won the division by 11 games over Arizona.
“It was quite a remarkable season,” Colletti said.
He wouldn’t comment on the status of Mattingly’s coaching staff, but it’s possible changes could be made, although Mattingly indicated he would like to keep it intact.
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