The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres will play tonight for the first time since their brawl last Thursday, a rematch that just happens to fall on the day on which baseball honors Jackie Robinson.
That’s a happy accident of timing that greatly diminishes the chances that there’ll be a continuation of the bad feelings sparked by the brawl between Zack Greinke and Carlos Quentin. Retaliation later in the season, though, is another matter.
“We’ll just play baseball. We’ll see how the games go. You’ll see,” Mattingly said (via the Los Angeles Times). “I’m not going to sit here and talk hypotheticals like, ‘Yeah, we’re going to get him back.’ That’s not something you would talk about even if that was part of the deal. You never talk about that.
“We’re trying to win games and trying to win a pennant. Getting retaliation on something is different than protecting your guys.”
Neither Greinke nor Quentin will be around tonight. Greinke is out with a broken collarbone he suffered when Quentin rushed the mound after being struck by Greinke’s pitch. Quentin is serving an eight-game suspension.
Baseball players have long memories. The anniversary of the date on which Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers may pass peacefully in Dodger Stadium, but that’s no guarantee that there won’t be simmering bad feelings.
“Guys aren’t going to forget,” Mattingly said. “You can do whatever, you can say whatever, you can write whatever, guys aren’t going to forget.”
Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley said he has no intention of throwing at anyone.
“I’m not going out there headhunting tomorrow,” Billingsley said. “I’m going out there to pitch and win a ballgame. That’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s what we’re here for, to win baseball games, make the playoffs, win the division. That’s why I go out there every fifth day.”