Umpires Jeff Nelson, center left, and Tim Tschida hold back Dodgers Manager… (Keith Srakocic / Associated…)
What are friends for?
Don Mattingly was suspended for two games by Major League Baseball for his outburst Thursday in Pittsburgh and will begin serving it Saturday in Atlanta.
That would be the bad news for the Dodgers, of course, but better news was that Matt Kemp was not suspended. Nothing was released about whether umpire Angel Campos received any discipline for his role in the brouhaha.
Major League Baseball’s head honcho of discipline, of course, is ex-Dodger manager Joe Torre, who also happens to be Mattingly’s longtime mentor. Torre called Mattingly on Friday, and prepared him for the suspension.
Bench coach Trey Hillman will manage the Dodgers the final two games of their 10-game road trip in Atlanta.
The ballyhoo erupted in the second inning Thursday, the Dodgers quickly upset with the way Campos was calling balls and strikes. Campos is a summer fill-in umpire with a less than glowing reputation. And he did himself and the game no favors by looking into the visitors’ dugout, some would argue, almost baiting the Dodgers.
After warning the Dodgers to shut it down while Andre Ethier batted, Kemp said he yelled “Let’s go Dre,” for which Campos ejected him.
Kemp stormed the field, with Mattingly right behind. Kemp had to be restrained by teammates and coaches, and appeared to inadvertently bump one umpire as he spun away.
A furious Mattingly, however, continued to argue long and hard, obviously much too long in Torre’s estimation. Mattingly said Torre told him during their phone call that his first priority should have been getting Kemp under control before arguing himself.
“I accept that,” Mattingly said Friday.
The problem was that the Dodgers let Campos get under their skin. They view him as a bad umpire, but knew that going in. It’s like a high school student complaining about how bad one of his teachers is. There are going to be bad teachers, and bad umpires, and you have to adjust and deal with it as best as you can.
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