Manuel applauds Utley

Jerry Manuel didn't directly contradict his players, but the manager sure sounded a lot more complimentary of Chase Utley's slide than condemning. Manuel before Saturday's game in essence said Utley's slide might have been a little late, but that's how it was done when Manuel was a player and how it ought to be done now.

Manuel brought up Hal McRae, Lonnie Smith, Don Baylor and Tony Graffanino as players whom second basemen never enjoyed seeing closing in.

"When you do that and play that way, it might take a while to get the response, because all you want to do is do the same thing. You want to basically play the same way," Manuel said. "I mean, that's how we did it back in the day. That was normal -- somewhat normal -- when we played. Now you don't do this and you don't do that. When we played, your best friend would say, 'Hey, here I come.' ... Here, any time a guy slides hard, you get a little ruffled or whatever. But that's how you have to play. For us to witness it or be a part of it, I think, is all good, because that tells the [Carlos] Beltrans, the [David] Wrights, the [Jose] Reyeses -- the older guys -- 'Hey, this is how they're going to play. This is how we have to do it.'"