NEW YORK (WFAN) — Yankees great Derek Jeter is reportedly interested in buying the Miami Marlins, a team managed by Yankees great Don Mattingly.
So naturally Mattingly is being asked these days about the possibility that he could soon be working for Jeter, whom he both coached and was teammates with.
But “Donnie Baseball” told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Friday that it’s not an easy topic for him to shed much light on.
“It’s really tough for me because at my level — I call it the field level — all we’re talking about is getting better, winning games,” Mattingly said. “We have no control over anything that happens above us. But obviously Derek’s a name that New Yorkers and really everyone around the country admire. It’s just hard to talk about it in this scenario.”
Mattingly’s Marlins are in New York this weekend to face the Mets in a three-game series at Citi Field. He said he calls the National League East the “black-and-blue division.”
“I feel like everybody’s going to beat everybody up,” he said. ” … And I just feel like when you beat everybody up, you don’t have to go out and win a hundred games. You feel like if you can get in the 90s, you’ve got a good shot of getting in the playoffs.”
Last season, Miami finished 79-82 and in third place in the NL East. The Marlins have a talented lineup, especially offensively, that includes Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Dee Gordon and Martin Prado.
“I think that’s one of the things that we’ve talked about is keeping this group together,” Mattingly said. “And that’s a decision you have to make in the offseason with our organization is how do we continue to keep these guys together. And we felt like they deserved another shot. I think after everything that happened last year, they stayed in the race and then the tragic ending. But these guys believe in themselves. They’re a pretty close group.
“We feel like we’re a lot like Kansas City a few years back … and a lot like Cleveland, where you have a talented, young group that’s getting better, and that’s where we’re going to make our hay.”
Meanwhile, more than six months after star pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in a boat crash, Mattingly said the scars remain but his players are doing their best to move forward.
“Off the field, I think we went through a lot last year with all that, and we did pretty much all that publicly,” Mattingly said. “And I think at the point when you get to go home and get away from it, you process it probably better. I think when we came back this spring, guys were — I shouldn’t say moved on because you never forget that part of it, and Jose’s always with us from that standpoint.”
To listen to the interview, click on the audio player above.