Oct. 11 Don Mattingly workout day interview

Oct. 11 Don Mattingly workout day interview

THE MODERATOR: Thanks for being here, Don.

Q. Any chance that with Utley's numbers against Harvey and the lefty-righty that he might start tomorrow?

DON MATTINGLY: Possibility. I haven't really set the lineup yet or put it out. Usually don't talk about it until the day of the game, but he will definitely be a possibility.

Q. Don, how would you describe your assessment of the likelihood that the Mets strike back?

DON MATTINGLY: Just one of those things I don't really concern myself with. We've been involved with a few things over the years, and we really don't start anything, but we've never backed away. The five years I've been here, we've had a few altercations. I don't feel like we've started any of them, but we really haven't backed away either.

It's one of those things you just don't worry about. You just handle it.

Q. Have you had any communication with the League office about potential discipline for Utley? I know that Torre said yesterday that might be a possibility.

DON MATTINGLY: I have not spoken personally to anyone yet. I know that there was -- there's talk of, talking to Andrew and those guys, we would find out something.

In general my assessment of how we've seen a little bit on TV, but I've seen the tape at this point. From my assessment of it, you know, I look at it as a baseball play. It was a hard, aggressive, legal slide to me. I thought their guy was, I thought -- you know, our organization is proud of the way Chase plays. We love the way he plays. He's got a reputation for playing the game right, playing it hard, and we're behind him 100 percent.

I thought their guy was courageous. Honestly, Ruben on that play could very easily have taken the out. But he plants and is trying to turn two. At that point he knows Chase is coming. He knows anybody would be coming. So he makes a decision at that point to try to turn two. He plants that foot and tries to spin and get two. Chase gets good secondary and is going to break it up.

So I think on both sides of it, as I think about it, I look at how they got spun around, and their captain, David Wright comes into Seager and slides like that, the exact same slide, and let's say he didn't get hurt, there would be rumblings, but it goes away. Guys talk and chat, but if nobody got hurt, it wouldn't even be talked about hardly today. It would have just been a hard slide, and there would have been controversy back and forth if it was hard. But since someone got hurt, now it's a story. So I mean, that's just the way I look at it.

If it would have been their guy, they would be saying, David Wright, hey, he's a gamer; he went after him. That's the way you gotta play. But it's our guy; it's different. So I know how the kind of the New York media gets a little bit going, and it gets dramatic, but for me you can't have it both ways. If David would have did it, it wouldn't have been any problem, here in New York.

Q. Don, not only on the New York media side, the Mets players were the ones who were pretty fired up after the game last night. Not that they need any more motivation, but do you worry about this sort of kicking them into another gear?

DON MATTINGLY: I think everybody's in playoff gear. If you have to get more emotional, I ain't buying it. I think we're all here to win. Like I spoke yesterday, you know, nobody wants to see anybody get hurt. Nobody wanted to see Ruben get hurt. I know Chase put out a statement today, or at least talked to some people, talking about the way he's played. Tried to reach out to Ruben and apologize. He feels terrible, I know that, about him getting hurt. We don't want that. We want to be the best team, and we want to win because of that.

I don't think you can -- you can only try so hard. You can only get so motivated. So I mean, if it gives them extra incentive than it does. I feel like we've got incentive, we're trying to win, too.

Q. Do you believe that the criticism towards Utley has been unfair?

DON MATTINGLY: I haven't really -- I don't get involved with the Twitter, because that usually is nonsense for the most part. But I've seen some good and some bad. I bet if you polled all the players in baseball and guys that have ever played, it would be pretty straightforward.

Q. After the game last night, Torre said he thought the slide was a little late. Do you give any credence to that?

DON MATTINGLY: It depends on what you look at as late. I've seen slides all year long. I've seen a number of them look just like. You're trying to break up two. I think as you're going full speed, you're trying to break up two. I don't think you're -- again, I saw the slide. He hit the ground first. Yeah, I've seen people say it's late. You could say it was late, but to me it was legal.

Q. Was there a check on Utley concussion-wise? And how did that go?

DON MATTINGLY: It went good. Chase came out of that fine.

Q. Are you ready to talk about a Game 4 starting pitcher?

DON MATTINGLY: It'll be either Wood or Kershaw. They'll both be ready to pitch Game 4, and so we haven't made a final decision. Still kind of going through our protocol and things we would look at to make that decision.

Q. More than just who wins tomorrow?

DON MATTINGLY: Yeah.

Q. And how about other changes in the lineup, like shortstop? Have you made a decision on that?

DON MATTINGLY: Again, we'll have the lineups out tomorrow.

Q. Is it unfortunate that it's evolved into this now, you know, the discussion about such a crucial Game 3 at Citi Field between the Dodgers and the Mets?

DON MATTINGLY: A little bit, I think, but I mean that's just the way it is. I think things are heightened at this time of year. You know, both teams want to win badly. You know, obviously teams, you want to win games, and this time of year you've fought awful hard to get to this spot, both clubs, and so you do want it to be about back to the field. I know we'll make sure that our guys get that mindset back of -- we're here to win a game, and that's the main thing is we're here to win a game. I know it's fun to talk about all this stuff, and you hear about it all, and it gets a lot of attention, but I'm sure it won't go away.

I know it's not going to go away, but we are going to come back and be ready to play and try to play good baseball. It's coming back to the simplest form of it, again, execute pitches, execute, get a big hit, hopefully make a big play, ball bounces our way a little bit and we're able to put a win on the board.

Q. Terry Collins said earlier that he would not want this game to begin with warnings to both benches. How would you feel if that happened?

DON MATTINGLY: Either way is fine. I don't think you should go into a game and not be able to pitch inside. Everything aside, you know when a guy's throwing at somebody. You know, of all the years you go through it, you know when somebody is throwing at somebody. So there won't be any mistakes. But you also know that guys pitch in and the ball gets away sometimes. You can pretty much tell that, too.

I don't think there needs to be warnings. You know, both teams are going to be competitive. Both teams are going to want to win. I mean, we've seen a few benches come off already this year, and team are competitive, and everybody is fighting right now.

So I don't think there needs to be any kind of warnings. Just let the game play.

Q. Getting back to Seager, do you feel he's handling the pressure situation okay?

DON MATTINGLY: Yeah. Fine with him.