The picture says it all. The off season has barely begun and the tension is thick and the Don situation will need to be addressed within the next few days or it can and will get real ugly in a hurry.
With the Dodgers winning the NLDS Don's option for next season vested. Simple right? Nope. Don has now stated he is not sure if he is coming back and with multiple managerial openings out there Don will not have a problem landing another job. Don says he loves it here but can not and will not be a "lame duck" manager and wants his contract extended and not to be on a year to year situation.
While under Don's leadership the past 3 years the team has a had a winning record every year. This was the first year of the 3 where the team reached the postseason. With all the injuries it was amazing they got as far as they did. But at the end of the day results are what you are judged by and does Don have it in him to get to and win the World Series with the Dodgers. At this moment I think they can win it in spite of him not because of him and I don't think that is a bad thing.
Don has a connection with the team that I don't think Mike Scioscia, Tony LaRussa or any of the other potential names that are being thrown out there as a replacement if Don would in fact leave. With that said the Dodgers need to handle this situation now. They can not drag this out as they need a manager in place going into the off season so current and potential free agents know who they can expect to see steering the ship. With the roster more than likely to stay intact with some adjustments here and there if someone new came along I think it would be in someway like starting from scratch. Would I give Don a 5+ year contract? No, but I would tear up the vesting year and give him a new 3 year contract with a club option for a fourth. In case the whole situation goes south the Dodgers would only have Don on the hook for 2 or so years and could cut ties easier if need be.
Can and should Don change some habits? Hell yeah. Bunting anyone? But I think there is a vision here that the players and Don shares and I think it would only be fair to all those involved to see it through in the next few years. When and if everyone is healthy next year then we would see what this team is really capable of accomplishing. This year's version was like a daily M.A.S.H. unit and never put out a fully healthy squad all year. Give Don and the team a chance to prove that they can get it done. Starting from scratch is a good thing sometimes but pertaining to the current one with Don I think it would be a mistake.
Just my two cents . . .