According to the AP, Don Mattingly won’t be the Dodgers hitting coach this season, due to family concerns. Instead, he’ll be a special assistant of some sort. Mattingly’s publicist released this statement to announce the change:
“Donnie is prioritizing his family first,” his agent, Ray Schulte, wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “The Dodgers have been very supportive, creating a position so Don can still make a contribution to the team throughout the year!”
Now, I’m no publicist. But I’ve worked in journalism and I’ve worked in communications and I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say that, when drafting a statement about a client’s family problems and subsequent role reduction, you probably want to steer clear of exclamation marks. An exclamation mark suggests this is a positive development. But let’s be real. Mattingly’s new position is a step back, not a step up. And his family problems, whatever they are, should hardly be cause for celebration.
Don, I wouldn’t fire your publicist over one lousy bit of punctuation. But I’d tell him to be more careful?