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Dodgers

Could Dodgers claim tampering against Marlins over Don Mattingly?

Letters: Wanted: A Dodgers manager to push the right buttons

Don Mattingly speaks during a news conference on Oct. 12.

(Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)

Reports leaked almost two months ago that the Marlins were interested in Don Mattingly as their next manager, so it shocked absolutely no one when he agreed to a contract with Miami on Thursday.

Yet no one has whispered a word about tampering?

This despite that when the news of the Marlins’ interest broke – including from their own website – Mattingly was in the middle of a three-year deal with the Dodgers and the Marlins had a manager. And speculation over the possible move actually started back in mid-August.

Now there are a couple of possibilities here. The first is the Dodgers and their infamous “mutual” agreement to part ways with Mattingly was just so much cover for not really wanting him back, so why cause a ruckus? The other is that they simply believe there was no tampering.

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There would seem to be a certain logic to the first possibility, and who knows exactly what overtures the Marlins made to Mattingly and through what channels or when? Maybe they were fairly direct and he went into last week’s meetings with the Dodgers’ brass knowing exactly what he had in his pocket. Maybe he just had a general idea. And maybe he was just confident he would land on his feet somewhere.

If none of this exactly passes the smell test, I do actually believe both sides did come to the conclusion it would be best if they moved on.

But that doesn’t mean that if the Dodgers were ready for Mattingly to exit, they would simply look away from Marlins tampering. If there was something there, they still have to protest.

That they apparently haven’t indicates they do not believe there was tampering. I don’t know how hard they looked, or in the end how much they really cared, but they must not think it went on. Maybe it’s really simple. It’s not like this front office has been anything but aggressive.

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News of Mattingly signing his four-year deal with the Marlins can’t officially be announced until after the end of the World Series, but it’s leaked anyway. Just as the Marlins’ interest did almost two months ago.

Those things happen, and for a reason, though apparently not enough to raise the Dodgers’ suspicions.


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