Yes, Derek Jeter is our Yankee captain, but there is something quite comforting about Don Mattingly, and there always will be, at least to me. He was a true Yankee leader and should have probably won a ring during his time in pinstripes if it wasn't for his bad back. He was only a New York Yankee in his baseball career… until he became the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. To me, that may be the strangest visual ever!
Sure, Yankees move on, but in my head, it was never supposed to be Don Mattingly. No, he was only to be in pinstripes and never in another uniform. Sure, if given an opportunity to stay in this great game of baseball, you move on and Mattingly did and when the Dodgers called, it was an opportunity to shine again. In the back of my mind, I often think about what it would be like if Mattingly were our manager. Who knows what type of job he would do for us, but it would have been nice I believe. That’s not a swipe at Joe Girardi, I like him there, and he won the job fair and square… I do think about it though.
Don Mattingly is a smart manager, he’s a baseball guy and he can mold his club into competitors. When the Dodgers aren’t playing the Yankees, I root for Donnie. When they are, then Donnie is just another manager. That being said, how do you NOT love Donnie Baseball.
Mattingly is coming to the Yankee stadium for a 2 game series starting today. The games will be competitive and every newspaper around the country has billed this as "the Return of Mattingly" and “Payback” or something. Sure, the Yankees need to win, but to them, it’s just a game. They aren’t reading the papers and they sure aren’t looking to “beat” Mattingly. There will be hugs and joking on the field, it’s going to be a great reunion with our former captain, but the game still needs to be played and someone needs to lose. For us Yankee fans, after the joking and smiling we need to put our game faces on and run the Dodgers over like a truck with no brakes… because in the end… that’s the game.
When it’s all over, I’ll see Donnie as a Yankee again, our captain, our leader of the 80’s… but for now, it’s GAME ON! Welcome back to the Bronx Donnie Baseball… get ready to lose… Go Yanks!
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