Dodgers Announce New Coaching Staff

The Dodgers announced the 2008 coaching staff which will include Don Mattingly, as the hitting coach; Larry Bowa as the third base coach; former Dodger pitcher Ken Howell, as the bullpen coach; Bob Schaefer, as bench coach; Rick Honeycutt, back for his third season as the pitching coach and former Dodger infielder Mariano Duncan, who returns for his third season as the first base coach.

  Also announced was the hiring of Special Assistant to the General Manager, Rick Ragazzo, according to Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti and Manager Joe Torre.

The coaching staff possesses 70 years of Major League playing experience and 37 years of Major League coaching or managing experience, including 38 playoff appearances, 10 pennants and four World Championships.      

Mattingly, 46, was one of the best hitters of his era, compiling a .307 batting average, 222 homers and 1,099 in 13 seasons for the New York Yankees. Mattingly is a nine-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner and owns the highest career fielding percentage of any first baseman in American League History (.9958).

The Indiana native took home the 1984 AL batting title (.343) and won the 1985 AL MVP Award when he cracked 35 homers and drove in a league-leading 145 runs. The six-time All-Star served as Torre's bench coach in New York last season and was the Yankees' batting coach from 2004-06, leading the squad to a Major League-best 930 runs scored in 2006.

In his first season as a big league coach in 2004, Mattingly guided the Yankees' hitters to an all-time franchise record of 242 home runs. Mattingly's son, Preston, just completed his first season in the Dodger organization after being drafted as a supplemental first-round pick in 2006.  

Bowa, 61, enters his 21st season as a Major League manager or coach, having spent the past two seasons as the third base coach for the New York Yankees after taking a year off to work for ESPN's Baseball Tonight in 2005.

Prior to that, Bowa spent four seasons at the helm of the Philadelphia Phillies, where he compiled 337 wins, good for ninth on the franchise list, while taking home the 2001 Manager of the Year Award in leading Philadelphia to its first winning season in eight years.

Bowa also managed the San Diego Padres (1987-88) and spent 12 years as a Major League coach for the Phillies (1988-96), Angels (1997-99) and Mariners (2000).

The California native enjoyed a 16-year playing career as a shortstop with the Phillies, Cubs and Mets in which he won two Gold Gloves (1972, '78), appeared in five All-Star games and retired with the NL record for the highest fielding percentage at the position (.980).  

  Schaefer, 62, was the Oakland Athletics' bench coach last season after spending 2006 as a Special Assistant to the General Manager in Atlanta. Prior to that, Schaefer was the Kansas City Royals' bench coach in 1991 and from 2002-05. Additionally, he worked as Kansas City's first base coach from 1988-90.

The Connecticut native has seven seasons of Minor League managerial experience and was named the South Atlantic League's Manager of the Year in 1980 and '81 and Eastern League Manager of the Year in 1986. Schaefer was Mattingly's first minor league manager with Greensboro in 1980 and has also served as a Special Assistant to the GM with Baltimore (1999-2001) and a Director of Player Development for the Boston Red Sox (1994-98).

  Howell, 46, will be on a Major League coaching staff for the first time after spending the previous two seasons as the pitching coach for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s, following one season with Double-A Jacksonville, where he fostered the growth of Chad Billingsley and Jonathan Broxton, among others.

Howell also spent three seasons as the pitching coach for the Single-A Vero Beach Dodgers before moving up the ladder. The right-hander was a third-round pick by the Dodgers in the June 1982 draft and pitched in seven Major League seasons, including five with Los Angeles (1984-88) and two with Philadelphia. Howell appeared in 235 games as a big leaguer, going 38-48 with a 3.95 ERA.  

Honeycutt, 53, will embark on his third season with the Dodgers after guiding the staff to the sixth-best ERA in the league in 2007 and the fourth-best in 2006. The Tennessee native has been instrumental in the development of key Dodgers such as Billingsley and Broxton.

The left-hander pitched 21 seasons in the Major Leagues, including five with the Dodgers (1983-87) and appeared in 797 games, the 33rd-highest total in big league history. His teams reached the postseason seven times, including one World Series winner (1989) and two pennant winners (1988, 1990) with Oakland. Honeycutt, who spent 2001-05 as the Dodgers' minor league pitching coordinator, led the American League in ERA in 1983 while earning a spot on the All-Star team.

  Duncan, 44, enters his third season as the Dodgers' first base coach after one year coaching stints with the Gulf Coast League Dodgers (2003), Double-A Jacksonville Suns (2004) and Triple-A Las Vegas 51s (2005).

Duncan saw action at all four infield positions and in the outfield during his 12-year Major League career and played four seasons with the Dodgers (1985-87, 1989).

The native of the Dominican Republic earned National League All-Star honors with the Phillies in 1994 and was a member of the World Champion 1990 Reds. Duncan was also a key member of Torre's first World Series winning team, the 1996 Yankees, batting .340 as the regular second baseman that season.      

Ragazzo comes to the Dodgers after spending the previous 17 seasons in the Giants' organization, 11 of those as their Director of International Operations. Ragazzo will be responsible for Major League scouting as well as assisting the General Manager with Major League decisions.

Ragazzo was an assistant baseball coach at Fullerton College (1985-88) and Loyola Marymount University (1988-90), before becoming an area scout with the Giants in 1990.  

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