Don Mattingly will replace Lee Mazzilli as Yankees bench coach, people with knowledge of the situation told Newsday Thursday.
The promotion brings Mattingly one important step closer to the manager’s seat and solidifies him as the favorite to be Joe Torre’s successor. Torre’s contract expires after next season.
Mazzilli’s run as Yankees bench coach ends after only one season. He was the Yankees’ first-base coach from 2000-03 before spending a season and a half as the Baltimore Orioles’ manager.
General manager Brian Cashman, who spent a second consecutive day in meetings with his professional scouts at Yankee Stadium, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
I would not have made this move.
Then again, maybe Mattingly sees this as a way to get to Cooperstown someday – via the combo of the almost good enough career and having a few rings as a manager too? Maybe that’s worth the risk of dealing with getting fired someday down the line and dealing with what that brings?