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Dodgers dismiss bench coach Hillman

Dodgers dismiss bench coach Hillman

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LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers dismissed bench coach Trey Hillman and advance scout Wade Taylor on Tuesday, and they announced that they have picked up the options on pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, third-base coach Tim Wallach and first-base coach Davey Lopes.

Hitting coach Mark McGwire was already under contract for 2014. The club also indicated it intended to retain assistant hitting coach John Valentin, bullpen coach Chuck Crim and assistant pitching coach Ken Howell, but none of them had an option with a Tuesday deadline.

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The three coaches retained had options due on Tuesday, one day after manager Don Mattingly threw his future with the organization into limbo by criticizing ownership for not supporting him with a new contract. Mattingly said his 2014 option vested when the club reached the National League Championship Series.

Mattingly's status is likely to remain unresolved until after the World Series, according to a baseball source. On Monday, Mattingly said his entire coaching staff would return if he had his way.

So Hillman's departure is a clear indication that if Mattingly returns, it will be with a bench coach selected by someone else: either general manager Ned Colletti or ownership.

There has been speculation around the club that ownership was unhappy with Mattingly's game management and sought a different bench coach to provide expertise. Among the names floated are former managers Pat Corrales and Jimy Williams.

Hillman said he was told of his dismissal in a 30-minute meeting by Colletti on Tuesday morning.

"It wasn't easy for him," Hillman said of Colletti. "He was very professional. I'm disappointed. I appreciated the opportunity to coach for this organization for three years. I loved the environment and loved working for Donnie. I wish the organization many years of success. It's a great organization, and I was blessed to be part of it."

Hillman said he dropped Mattingly off at the airport before his meeting with Colletti and Mattingly "didn't know what the meeting was about." However, Mattingly was told on Monday that Hillman would be dismissed, according to a baseball source.

The 50-year-old Hillman managed the Kansas City Royals from 2008-10 after a successful stint with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan from 2003-07. He managed in the New York Yankees' farm system from 1990-2001, during which he and Mattingly became friends.

Hillman said Colletti raised the possibility of Hillman remaining in the organization in another capacity. Hillman said he will first pursue Major League opportunities.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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