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08/16/11 9:36 PM ET

Twenty years since Mattingly benched for hair

MILWAUKEE -- Twenty years ago this week, the New York Yankees were in turmoil and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was in the middle of it.

Shortly before a game against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 15, 1991, manager Stump Merrill called Mattingly into his office and told him he had to cut his hair or he could not play that night.

Mattingly refused, and was replaced in the lineup by Kevin Maas in a 5-1 win for New York.

"It kind of made me mad," Mattingly said before the Dodgers' game Tuesday night in Milwaukee. "We were the second-chance club. We always would bring in guys that had problems somewhere else.

"I had been on the team for six or seven years, never been out late, played hurt, in on time, no controversy," he said. "I'm thinking, 'You're going to tell me an hour and a half before the game if I don't cut my hair I don't play? I thought about it and said, 'You know what? I'm not playing.'"

Mattingly said he was called into the front office the next day and the organization apologized.

"If someone would have said, 'Go get your hair cut,' I would have said, 'OK,'" he said. "It was just the demand. I felt like I had never done anything but played hard. Whatever they asked, I did."

Soon after, Mattingly got his hair cut and the clippings were auctioned for charity, raising $3,000, he said.

Mattingly doesn't want Dodgers to let up

MILWAUKEE -- With 42 games left in the season entering Tuesday's game with the Brewers, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he wants to make sure his team continues to play hard and wants to see some of the younger players get experience on the field.

"I've been proud of what they've done," Mattingly said. "I feel like this club has played hard. I don't want us to get to a point where we are going out there, not playing as a ballclub."

He singled out Casey Blake, Aaron Miles, Jamey Carroll and an "older, young guy" in Matt Kemp, as players who set examples on the team.

"It's an indication of the veteran presence we have," he said.

He said he also wanted to see his young relievers and young position players like shortstop Dee Gordon, ranked by MLB.com as the team's No. 1 prospect, play in the final weeks. Gordon is on the disabled list with a right shoulder contusion, but is expected to come off the disabled list later this month.

"Being able to evaluate the guys we have, what we're missing," Mattingly said. "As a team, what separates us from being in that next level? It's not that much."

Gordon feeling good after throwing again

MILWAUKEE -- Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon threw for the second consecutive day on Tuesday and said he hopes to be ready to return when he is eligible to come off the disabled list on Aug. 25.

Gordon is on the DL with a right shoulder contusion.

"Feeling good," he said after his workout at Miller Park. "We'll see how it goes."

Gordon, ranked by MLB.com as the Dodgers' No. 1 prospect, has been doing shoulder exercises and running to stay in shape.

"We're going to take it day by day and see how it feels," he said.

Worth noting

With teams spending millions of dollars to sign Draft choices this week, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he signed with the Yankees for $23,500 as a 19th-round pick in 1979. He said he put $10,000 in a money-market CD, bought a 1979 Monte Carlo and paid taxes with the rest. "I was out of money," he said. "I was fine with it. All I wanted to do was play."

Joe DiGiovanni is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.