Mattingly to replace Torre as Dodgers skipper

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Joe Torre will step down as Los Angeles Dodgers manager at the end of the season with former Yankee Don Mattingly taking over the role for the 2011 campaign, the team said Friday.

The 70-year-old Torre took over the Dodgers in 2008 after 12 years with the New York Yankees and brought former American League MVP Mattingly with him as hitting coach.

Torre took the Dodgers to the National League Championship Series in the past two seasons but they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies both times.

Los Angeles has been a major disappointment this year and is second-to-last in the NL West with a 72-75 record.

"It has been an incredible honor to wear the Dodger uniform and I will always carry with me some very special memories from the past three seasons," Torre said in a statement.

"This was not a decision I took lightly but I believe it's the right one for myself and my family and I'm truly thrilled that Donnie will be the one leading the Dodgers.

"It's time that the Dodgers had a new voice and I have the utmost confidence in him. I know he's ready for the challenge," he said.

Mattingly, in his seventh season as a Major League coach, spent 14 seasons as a first baseman for New York, where he compiled a .307 lifetime average with 222 home runs and 1,099 RBI while earning A.L. MVP honors in 1985. He won nine Gold Glove Awards and made six All-Star game appearances.

He becomes the Los Angeles Dodgers' ninth all-time manager and will manage in the Arizona Fall League at the completion of the regular season.

"The opportunity to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers is truly an honor," said Mattingly. "There are few organizations in the world with the history, tradition and track record of success as the Dodgers.

"I'm looking forward to continuing what I came here to accomplish with Joe and that's to win a world championship."

Torre has more postseason victories than any other Major League manager and ranks fifth on the all-time regular season wins list. He won four World Series with the Yankees, the last coming in 2000.

"Joe Torre has been a great friend, a strong leader and an incredible presence for this organization and I cannot thank him enough for his service to the Dodgers," said general manager Ned Colletti.

"Over the past three years, I've had the opportunity to work with Don closely and have gotten to know him both personally and professionally and I'm convinced that he's the right person to lead the Dodgers.

"His work ethic is unparalleled, his baseball knowledge is vast and his leadership skills have been established during more than three decades in professional baseball," he added.

Torre has a 2318-1990 record as manager over 29 seasons with the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Yankees and Dodgers.

(Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by Steve Ginsburg)