Miami’s Don Mattingly was named National League Manager of the Year on Tuesday after guiding the Marlins to their first playoff appearance since 2003 despite dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that paused their season and ravaged the roster.
The Marlins’ 31-29 record was Mattingly’s first winning season in his fifth year with the club. The former first baseman and AL MVP had a winning record in each of his five seasons as the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Mattingly is the first Manager of the Year winner for the Marlins since Joe Girardi in 2006, and fifth person to win MVP as a player (1985, with the New York Yankees) and win Manager of the Year.
Tingler and Ross led their teams to the playoffs in their first seasons as a big league manager.
After losing 105 games a year ago, Miami’s 2020 season was nearly derailed by a coronavirus outbreak during the first weekend of play. The team had to make 174 roster moves — which included using 61 players overall, more than any other season in team history — but still managed the franchise’s first winning record since 2009.
The steady hand of Mattingly, 59, played a big role in the turnaround, which continued in the playoffs. Miami eliminated the NL Central champion Cubs in the first round before it was swept by the Atlanta Braves in the NL Division Series.
After he was named a finalist for the award last week, Mattingly paid tribute to Marlins CEO Derek Jeter and the rest of the team’s ownership group.
“I think it starts at the top with ownership, working its way down through Derek and right down through our staff and development, analytics,” Mattingly said. “I think we all, Derek put us all on the same page, where we have a goal in mind and we knew that it was going to be a little rough. We didn’t want to talk about it for a couple years, but we believed in where we wanted to go.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.