Dodgers won't put bubbles in a corner

MILWAUKEE -- If the Los Angeles Dodgers were as confident at the plate as they are with their wildly popular bubble machine, a deep October run would be likely.

Only a few days after it was reported that Major League Baseball requested the machine keep a lower profile, the Dodgers went to their official Twitter account Thursday night, posting a photo of the bubble maker boxed up and ready to make the trip to Milwaukee.

Manager Don Mattingly admitted to talking about the bubble machine in a recent conversation with Major League Baseball executive vice president Joe Torre, and while vague about the exact context of the conversation, he didn't sound as if he feared any repercussions from the toy's continued use as a part of home run celebrations.

"Does that thing bother me? No, it doesn't bother me," Mattingly said, when asked if he was too old-school to be a part of something so silly. "I'm not saying I like it, but if other teams are allowed to ride the stick horse down their dugout, then ours is no different. Really, Tampa rides a stick horse down the dugout. What's the difference?"

Tampa Bay Rays outfielder David DeJesus did ride a toy horse up and down the dugout during a June game, but the practice has hardly gained the traction that baseball's most famous soap dispenser has.

"I'm not involved with the bubble machine," Mattingly said. "It's above my head. Bubblegate is above my pay grade. They powers above say the bubble machine stays."

It's hard to see Mattingly's New York Yankees clubs stooping to the same gimmick, but this is a different era. Besides, the manager said he has way too many more pressing issues to worry about than bubbles.

"This is like a kid thing," said Mattingly, who has three sons and a stepson, all grown now. "You've got to pick your battles."