Don Mattingly is finally getting his chance to manage a baseball team, although the major leagues are still a step away.
The Dodgers' bench coach will manage the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League, a hopeful step in the right direction for Mattingly.
Mattingly long has been rumored to replace Joe Torre (whose contract is up after this season) in Los Angeles.
While Mattingly has yet to manage at any level (except for two games this year because of a Torre suspension), the former Yankees star welcomes any challenge.
"There's nothing like experience," Mattingly told MLB.com. "If I get the chance to manage in the big leagues, I'll have someone with experience [as bench coach] who's been through it before. Part of it is managing the game, and obviously that's important. But most of it is managing the club and setting the tone and putting players in position to have success."
There are six teams in the AFL, which runs from October 12-November 20.
Mattingly's team, the Desert Dogs, will consist of prospects from the Atlanta Braves, Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, and Oakland Athletics.
Fans looking to check out up-and-coming D-Backs players should keep an eye on the Scottsdale Scorpions. They include the Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants, and Washington Nationals.
Here are the other four teams and their major-league affilliations:
Mesa Solar Sox: Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Peoria Javelinas: Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, and Toronto Blue Jays.
Peoria Saguaros: Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Minnesota Twins, San Diego Padres, and Tampa Bay Rays.
Surprise Rafters: Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Texas Rangers.
For more info on the AFL, go here.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.