Mattingly to be hitting coach, not bench coach

Although Joe Torre was quick to say that could change if the Dodgers don’t find a suitable bench coach. But I’m going to go way out on a limb and guess — based on reading between the lines of something else Joe said today — that he already has someone in mind for the bench coach’s job, and that someone is Lee Mazzilli. I asked Joe if he was looking for anything specific in a bench coach, such as someone who had managed in the National League more recently, and he shot down the N.L. notion. Joe then went on to speak glowingly of all the coaches he had with the Yankees. That would seem to point to one of those coaches being his bench coach with the Dodgers. Other than Mattingly, Torre had four bench coaches with the Yankees. Two of them. Willie Randolph and Joe Girardi, are managing other clubs now. Another one, Don Zimmer, is 76 years old. That leaves Mazzilli, who was fired by the Yankees a year ago, but that decisoin reportedly was made by the front office, not by Torre. By the way, Mattingly being the hitting coach does NOT mean he isn’t the heir apparent to Torre as manager. Without mentioning Mattingly by name, Ned Colletti said last week that it was important to groom someone under Torre to eventually take over the job, just as Tommy Lasorda was groomed under Walter Alston. That still points straight to Mattingly.

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