Daily Distractions: Zack Greinke on mano-a-mano death matches; is Don Mattingly safe?

Zack Greinke Carlos Quentin

Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke is not in favor of mano-a-mano fights to the death. (Getty Images)

The beautiful thing about interviewing Zack Greinke is you never know what he’ll say next. Clichés are not his forte.

Tuesday, Greinke was asked for his thoughts on eliminating benches-clearing brawls, like the one that led him to fracture his collarbone in San Diego, by banning players from leaving the bench/bullpen during a fight on the field. His response:

“That’s above me, for one. I think it’s part of the game, or it has been forever. Any rule changes, there’s going to be something that could backfire in a different way. Say we’re not allowed to do anything, is there a different way you could go about it? So you get into a fight and it’s just one-on-one until one person dies? The umpires aren’t going to do much.

“It’s not like these brawls where people are coming off the benches are bringing weapons out. Most of the people coming out of the dugout are there to calm things down, not encourage it.”

Greinke, for the record, is not in favor of one-on-one fights to the death.

Some bullet points for a Wednesday morning:

• Happy 31st birthday, Adrian Gonzalez.

• If the Dodgers demote Brandon League from his closer position today, the timing will be cruelly coincidental. The Cubs just named Kevin Gregg their closer. Gregg was released by the Dodgers in the first week of the season.

• When you reconstruct Clayton Kershaw‘s career trajectory, as the folks over at Grantland did today, it is absolutely unfathomable that Kershaw is 25 years old.

Don Mattingly‘s job security, thoughtfully explored here and here.

• Another opinion, courtesy of ESPN.com: “The Dodgers should focus more on the next three to five years rather than this year’s team,” perhaps by trading Andre Ethier to the Mets and/or poking the Padres to see if they can pry away Chase Headley.

• Eliezer “Dengue Fever” Alfonzo reportedly has been loaned to the Mexican League.

• Toronto Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ has been released from a hospital after this happened to him yesterday.

Kirk Gibson‘s son, Cam, is a chip off the old block.

• The song “You,” leaked from the new Bibio album, somehow manages to reference J Dilla and the theme song from “Twin Peaks.” (Sorry, embedding was apparently disabled, but click here and it’ll pop up.)

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.