NEW YORK -- Don Mattingly was "extremely disappointed" to learn on Monday that he was not the Yankees' choice to fill the club's managerial vacancy, his agent said.
Mattingly's representative, Ray Schulte, said in a statement that the popular former Yankee has informed the organization he will not accept a coaching position under new manager Joe Girardi.
The 46-year-old Mattingly, who starred in a 14-year playing career beginning in 1982, offered congratulations to Joe Torre's likely successor. Girardi reportedly received an offer Monday to become the 32nd manager in franchise history, an opportunity he is expected to accept.
"Don feels both Joe and Tony Pena represent true professionalism both on and off the field, and he was honored to be among them as candidates for the managerial position," Schulte said. "Don extends congratulations to Joe and wishes him and the organization good luck next year."
Of the three candidates who interviewed last week in Tampa, Fla., Mattingly was the only one lacking managerial experience -- Girardi was the 2006 National League Manager of the Year with the Marlins, and Pena won the 2003 AL honors for his work with the Royals.
Yet Mattingly was perceived as an early front-runner for the position, believed to have the endorsement of principal owner George Steinbrenner after serving for four seasons as a coach under Torre -- three as a hitting coach and this past year as a bench coach.
Of the candidates, Mattingly was by far the most sentimental choice. A nine-time Gold Glove Award-winning first baseman who compiled 2,153 hits in his playing career, Mattingly's appearances before postseason games and Old Timer's Days generated applause surpassing nearly all in uniform.
Mattingly had said in a conference call with reporters that he did not believe his lack of experience would be an issue in the final decision. Mattingly said he would not have signed on to serve as the hitting coach in 2004 if he had not had visions toward managing.
"Today is a very difficult day because managing the Yankees was Don's aspiration and goal since becoming the hitting coach four years ago," Schulte said. "Even though this opportunity has passed him by, he wants to thank Mr. Steinbrenner for his initial faith, inspiration and support throughout his playing and coaching career."
The Yankees deliberated through the World Series, trying to decide if Girardi or Mattingly should follow Torre's successful run of 12 consecutive postseason appearances. Girardi's analytical style, prior experience and familiarity working with pitching staffs as a 15-year veteran catcher appears to have helped his cause.
Schulte said that Mattingly will "use this time to reflect on this experience while considering future family and career options" and would reserve further comment until a time appropriate and respectful to the Yankees.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.