From Don to Skip, a new legacy for the Fish begins

Don Mattingly said his final goodbye as manager to the Miami Marlins on Oct. 5. with 12,195 fans in attendance at LoanDepot Park. During the game, a heartfelt video honoring the Yankee legend was played. 

“It feels good to be part of this for so long,” Mattingly said. “I’ve always felt comfortable here. This is, in a sense, like a second home for me.” 

Although it was the end for Mattingly, it was just the beginning for the team. Coming off the bench as the new team leader is 42-year-old Jared Michael “Skip” Schumaker. He played for St. Louis Cardinals before becoming the bench coach. 

“He’s going to be great,” said Mattingly on Schumaker. “I think the people of Miami will like him. He’ll do a great job. He’s going to be good.”

After managing the Marlins for seven seasons, Mattingly had a 437-583 record, making him the manager with the most seasons and wins in Marlins franchise history.

“It means a lot that the organization put trust in me for that long,” Mattingly said in his final press conference. “It’s hard you don’t usually stay in a place too long like that.”

Catcher Jacob Stallings said Mattingly has been a role model to him. “He was great for me, I mean, I told him before the game today, just thank you for just believing in me,” Stallings said. “He showed confidence in me when I was really struggling, and he was a big reason why I had a much better second half.”

Mattingly has been able to work with a variety of different players, and see their strengths and weaknesses. Peyton Budrick, a new addition to the Marlins, mentioned the impact the manager has had on him in his short time.

“It’s been a great year learning from Donnie, one of the best players to ever do it,” Burdick said. 

After deciding to part ways with the Fish, he wishes nothing but the best for the team. He’ll watch from afar as the team’s young core tries to find its identity in the deep NL East, which produced three playoff teams this season.

“It stinks to see him go, but I know I think it makes it a little easier on the players, knowing he’s excited … to get home,” Stallings, the catcher, said. “His son has three baseball games next week, so I think he’s excited for that and whatever may lie in front of him professionally.”

Jillian Salvi Cruz is a junior majoring in broadcasting with a minor in Business Marketing. After her studies, she wishes to pursue a career within the sports field as a sideline reporter for baseball and other sports.

Tania Jimenez is a senior majoring in communication with a concentration in digital broadcasting. She is interested in sports. After graduation, she would like to continue her career journey in the world of sports media.