MLB expansion: Don Mattingly will help Nashville get his club

Toronto Blue Jays on-bench coach Don Mattingly will serve as an advisor to the Nashville Stars, a group led by former star player and general manager Dave Stewart that is looking to secure an expansion team, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Nightengale adds that Mattingly remains the coach of the Blue Jays in addition to advising on Nashville’s expansion efforts, named Music City Baseball.

“The approach that Dave Stewart and his team have in Nashville is exactly what baseball needs. I’m glad to see Major League Baseball taking an active approach to these important issues. We need more diversity in the game, and it starts from the top down,” Mattingly said in a statement to Nightengale.

The former New York Yankees star joined the Blue Jays as an off-the-bench coach in the coaching staff led by John Schneiders in late November.

The 61-year-old coached the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2011 to 2015, then coached the Miami Marlins from 2016 until last season. He and the team parted ways after a 69-93 campaign. In 2020, Mattingly won National League Manager of the Year by helping the Marlins reach the playoffs for only the third time in franchise history.

In conjunction with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City and named after the Negro Leagues team that played in Nashville from the late 1930s to the early 1950s, the Stars group seeks “to gain the approval of the Major League Baseball for an Expansion Franchise in Nashville”. Their website describes itself as “an organization of Nashville business, sports, music and community leaders” who are “committed to bringing a Major League franchise to Nashville as a central part of a plan mixed-use, multi-theme family, sports and sports in the entertainment district. »

In 2018, commissioner Rob Manfred pointed to Nashville as a possible destination for expansion and said last summer he would “love” to increase the number to 32 teams.

MLB made a final expansion in 1998 when the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays were born.

Stewart also played with the Blue Jays, having spent two seasons with the team, including as a member of the 1993 World Series winning team.

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