If the Dodgers hire Joe Maddon, they can expect a call from the commissioner.

Mark Topkin, the Tampa Bay Times’ beat writer, has the story on the stunning departure of Joe Maddon today. Read it for yourself, but the possibility of Maddon managing the Dodgers only seems stronger by the end of the piece.

As we noted earlier, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said that Don Mattingly “will be our manager next season.” It was a statement Friedman had to make, if only to put Matingly at ease. But if Mattingly had a short leash for failure before Maddon opted out of his contract, where does that leave him now?

Moreover, what if something changes? Say Friedman (and/or the new general manager, whoever he is) decides he wants to fire Mattingly and hire Maddon. Can they possibly do so without giving the appearance of impropriety?

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Joe Maddon is a free agent, but Andrew Friedman backs Don Mattingly (again).

Joe Maddon

Former Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon worked with current Dodgers executives Andrew Friedman (left) and Gerry Hunsicker (center) in Tampa Bay. (Associated Press photo)

Joe Maddon unexpectedly opted out of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday morning, raising speculation that new Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman would hire his former manager to replace Don Mattingly in Los Angeles.

Not so, says Friedman.

“As I said last week, Joe and I enjoyed a tremendous relationship working together in Tampa Bay and I wish him nothing but the best wherever his next stop will be,” Friedman said in a statement released by the team. “However, nothing has changed on our end. Don Mattingly will be our manager next season and hopefully for a long time to come.”
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Don Mattingly on Ned Colletti, his coaching staff, Hanley Ramirez, etc.

Don Mattingly

The Dodgers will finalize their 2015 coaching staff in the coming days and weeks. (Getty Images)

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly addressed a number of topics in his season-ending media session Thursday. The big takeaway, as I explained in today’s editions: If the Dodgers didn’t beat themselves, and the manager only would’ve done one thing differently, then whoever assembled the team is primarily accountable for an early playoff exit.

That’s the manager’s opinion, and Don Mattingly doesn’t have the power to fire Ned Colletti.

But he did address Colletti’s status directly, and a few other things I wasn’t able to expand on in that piece:
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