Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly finished second in voting for the National… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)
Don Mattingly, who nearly lost his job as manager of the Dodgers in June, nearly won the award as National League manager of the year.
Mattingly finished second behind Clint Hurdle, who won the award by managing the Pittsburgh Pirates to their first playoff spot in 21 years. Hurdle got 25 of the 30 first-place votes and was the only man named on every ballot.
Mattingly got two first-place votes. Fredi Gonzalez of the Atlanta Braves finished third. He got three first-place votes, but Mattingly got 17 votes for second place and Gonzalez got four.
The Dodgers beat the Braves in the first round of the playoffs. That victory, as Mattingly later revealed, had guaranteed that his contract would extend through next season.
Mattingly has asked -- privately and publicly -- for a new deal that would extend his guarantee beyond next season. The Dodgers have agreed to consider the request but have made no announcements about whether they intend to grant it.
On MLB Network, which broadcast the awards announcement, Mattingly said he and the team are in contract negotiations.
"I love where I'm at," Mattingly said. "We're in talks right now. They are going good. No real rush for me or for the Dodgers right now. Things are going good."
Mattingly, 52, led the team with the highest payroll in baseball history to the National League West championship, and with it the first playoff spot in his three years as manager. The Dodgers, in last place in the NL West on July 1, became the first team to clinch a playoff spot.
The Dodgers declined Mattingly’s bid for a new deal last winter, with the new owners preferring to evaluate him during their first full season in charge. The Dodgers fell 9 1/2 games out of first place on June 21. At one point, Mattingly later said, he had been warned by Dodgers President Stan Kasten that a change might have to be made if the season did not turn around.
The Dodgers delivered a historic turnaround. They won on June 22, the start of a 42-8 run. No major league team had won 42 of 50 games since the 1945 St. Louis Cardinals. The Dodgers won the NL West by 11 games, becoming the first team since the 1914 Boston Braves to trail by at least 9 1/2 games and win by at least 10.