Joe Torre is going to announce his career intentions around Labor Day. My guess is that he’s going to retire. Everyone’s assumption is that Don Mattingly is the heir apparent. Bob Nightengale says think again:
The assumption is that Don Mattingly is heir apparent to replace Joe Torre,but AAA manager Tim Wallach is looming as favorite.
He doesn’t give us any additional context, but knowing how Nightengale rolls (i.e. pretty responsibly and reliably), I’m going to assume this is based on conversations with Dodgers front office people.
The advantage of Wallach over Mattingly? Managerial experience, I’d presume. I don’t want to overstate Mattingly’s recent gaffes as fill-in skipper — they were kind of freaky things — but you can’t ignore them either. More importantly you can’t ignore the growing sense around baseball that front offices prefer guys with some experience running a team. First-time manager stock is at an ebb these days.
Wallach has been the skipper of the Dodgers’ AAA team for a couple of years now. He was the PCL manager of the year last year. Maybe more importantly, he was more directly hired by the Dodgers front office than Mattingly — who sort of came as a package deal with Torre — really was. If Torre goes, so goes Mattingly’s biggest backer, one presumes.