All together now, it’s a family affair. . . .
And you know how families are, right? All tight and loving one moment, down each others’ throats another, then back to love and kisses the next. A darting comment followed by a big smooch.
Teams can be like that, though we know there are still all kinds of families, all kinds of teams. The Dodgers had one of those “moments” Saturday when Manager Don Mattingly and outfielder Andre Ethier got into a heated dugout argument in the eighth inning that included much shouting and arm waving, all captured on national television.
On Sunday both wrote it off, and Ethier is back in Sunday’s lineup in center.
“The greatest thing is when you have guys like Andre, he can voice his opinion, I can voice mine and the next day we’re both adults and talking and no problems,” Mattingly said. “It’s really, in a sense, family.
“You’re able to argue at home back and forth but at the end of the day, you love your kids. To me, I look at it like that -- just family. You discuss something or it gets a little heated at that moment, at the end of the day we’re family.”
Ethier downplayed the incident Saturday after the game. By Sunday afternoon, he and Mattingly were in the team gym riding exercise bikes next to each other, he said. This is the seventh season they have been together, so they no doubt feel comfortable sharing thoughts with each other.
Ethier did not walk to specifically discuss what inspired the mini-blowup. Mattingly said it was because Ethier did not want to be removed from a game the Dodgers were leading 12-2.
“He was mad,” Mattingly said. “He wanted to stay in the game. It was simple as that.”
Well, maybe not exactly as simple as that. That was a lot of heat for something so benign. Something else was behind it, or at least borne from that initial conversation point.
If they choose not to share anything beyond what they have, that’s their family right. As long as it doesn’t fester and grow.
But by Sunday everything was back to love and kisses. Everyone was back to being all grown up.
“It’s good that today I can apologize, he apologizes and you just move on,” Mattingly said. “And then you have an adult conversation.”