ATLANTA — Manager Don Mattingly said Friday he expects to be suspended “a game or two” for his blowup with the home plate umpire a day earlier.
“I still think it’s going to happen, it sounds like, just not tonight,” Mattingly said before the Dodgers played the Atlanta Braves. “I got a stay of execution for one more day.”
Mattingly vehemently argued with umpire Angel Campos, and was ejected, during the Dodgers’ game with the Pirates in Pittsburgh.
The manager was protesting that center fielder Matt Kemp had just been ejected while Kemp stood in the dugout.
Kemp and Mattingly acknowledged being unhappy with Campos’ calls of balls and strikes and being warned to stop complaining.
But they said Kemp was tossed simply for cheering on his teammate Andre Ethier. A furious Kemp then sprinted on to the field to argue even further.
Former Dodgers Manager Joe Torre, now Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of baseball operations, called Mattingly on Friday and “we were able to talk about it,” Mattingly said.
Asked whether he expected Kemp to draw a suspension, which can be appealed, Mattingly replied, “I don’t expect there’d be one, but I guess you never know. They can do something to me, but Matt didn’t do anything wrong.”
Mattingly said Torre also told him that “once Matt comes out of the dugout, I should have been more concerned about making sure he’s under control first before arguing myself. I accept that.”
“But it’s an emotional game,” Mattingly said. “They’re trying to win, there’s a lot at stake.”
Kemp will present Don Newcombe, former Dodgers pitcher and current special advisor to the team’s chairman, with one of the MLB Beacon of Hope Awards being given Saturday at a luncheon here.
The event, which recognizes individuals “whose lives have been emblematic of the spirit of the civil rights movement,” will precede the MLB’s Delta Civil Rights Game between the Dodgers and Braves at Turner Field on Saturday.
Newcombe, 86, is a four-time All-Star who joined Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949, pitched until 1960 and is one of only two players in baseball history to win the rookie of the year, most valuable player and Cy Young awards.
Newcombe has a close relationship with Kemp, and he asked Kemp to present the award.
“I love him to death and it’s an honor for me,” Kemp said. “He’s like a dad to me, somebody I admire and he’s inspiring and gives me so much knowledge about the game.”
After hitting a grounder in the ninth inning, James Loney tossed his bat so far behind him that it nearly hit on-deck hitter Luis Cruz, sparking boos from the Turner Field crowd . . . Shortstop Dee Gordon, on the disabled list since July 5 because of an injured right thumb, was cleared to resume baseball activities.