The Los Angeles Unified School District has a problem: it’s looking for a new superintendent. And all indications are that it’s having a hard time finding one.

The current interim superintendent has been around a while – and wants to leave by year’s end. But we’re getting awfully close to the year’s end, and the district consultants are still holding meetings at which they’re supposed to get public feedback on what people want in a superintendent. And not many people are bothering to go to such meetings.

Because anyone paying attention knows the job is impossible.

Indeed, the job involves managing an unmanageable district. It involves dealing with a politically divided board. It involves dealing with one of the world’s wackiest teachers’ unions. It involves taking in criticism from everyone in town. And the richest and most powerful people in town want to dismantle the district (mostly by breaking it up into charter schools).

Essentially, a superintendent is hired to be fired.

L.A. Unified has had trouble in the past finding superintendents from the education world, so it has turned to people working for foundations, for the military, even an ex-governor. They were good people, and of course, no one was particularly happy with the job they did.

There is only one job I can think of that requires taking this much crap. A manager or coach of a pro sports team.

As it happens, the Los Angeles sports world just spit out one such manager: Don Mattingly of the baseball Dodgers. Mattingly spent five years in that job, won more than he lost, and won the division title the last three years—the first time that’s happened in more than a century of Dodger baseball. For all of that he was endlessly pilloried—no single person in Los Angeles has been more criticized in this decade. And last week, the Dodgers parted ways with him – he was hired to be fired.

Mattingly appears close to agreeing to take a new job, managing the Miami Marlins. But that announcement is not yet official, and he has said he likes Los Angeles. So why not save the time and trouble of a months-long search and offer Mattingly the job? Sure, he’s not a professional educator – but that’s hardly a requirement of being a superintendent. And he’s actually taught (baseball), which is more than some superintendents can say.

He’ll be able to handle the criticism. And he’ll at least have an experience handling an entitled, unionized workforce – baseball players – that doesn’t have to do what he asks.

And when Mattingly is fired, he’ll have done his job. Again.