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Harvey, Mets hope for no pregame warnings

Club doesn't want righty to be at disadvantage by not being able to pitch inside

NEW YORK -- Matt Harvey alluded vaguely to his intentions on the eve of National League Division Series Game 3 at Citi Field, saying: "Doing what's right is exactly what I'm going to do." What that means with regards to retribution for Chase Utley's injurious slide into Ruben Tejada in Game 2 remains to be seen, particularly after Major League Baseball suspended Utley for Games 3 and 4. Before that happened, the Mets delivered some public pleas to MLB, in hopes that the umpiring crew will not warn both benches prior to the game.

"I've got to let Major League Baseball make the decisions, but I would personally hope that there wouldn't be such an issue, only because the impact it would have on the entire game itself," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "It would change the way the game's supposed to be played. And I'm not saying we're trying to protect anybody, but in the game of baseball, we do ask our pitchers to pitch inside once in a while. The last thing we need is an umpire to take the games into his hands where he thinks it was a purpose [pitch]."

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Warning both benches prior to a game is rare, but has happened in the past, discouraging teams with apparent ill will from beaning each other's players. Umpires do it to prevent situations from escalating out of control. But players tend to argue that they can police themselves, and that warning both benches -- baseball's equivalent of a zero-tolerance policy -- robs them of their ability to pitch inside.

"I'm not going to give up my game plan, my approach, for something like that," Harvey said. "It's unfair. If certain situations come up where I need to throw that pitch, I'm definitely not going to be afraid to go inside."

Dodgers Game 3 starter Brett Anderson admitted that he wouldn't much care, because "I'm not like Clayton [Kershaw] where I pitch in, pitch in, pitch in constantly. I more stay in the bottom of the zone, get ground balls and try to keep them off-balance."

Though Collins said he plans to stay out of MLB's affairs both in regards to warning benches and to a punishment for Utley, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson and assistant GM John Ricco were seen having an animated conversation with the league's chief baseball officer, Joe Torre, shortly after Saturday's game. The Mets released a statement late Sunday saying they felt Utley's suspension -- which he will appeal -- was "the appropriate course of action," adding that "the team and our fans can now focus on playing winning baseball."

"I don't think there needs to be warnings," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Both teams are going to be competitive. Both teams are going to want to win. So I don't think there needs to be any kind of warnings. Just let the game play."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.
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