Don Mattingly sounds like he's resigned to the fact he will never be enshrined in Cooperstown. (Getty Images)

Don Mattingly says his troublesome back may have hurt his chances at the Hall of Fame, but not his career, in an interesting Q&A with's Mark Saxson.

Although Mattingly talks to the media every day during the season, it's usually about his Dodgers team, not his own career. The former Yankee is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the 13th time this year and after getting just 17.8 percent last year, it's seems unlikely he'll ever be enshrined, and it sounds as if he's OK with that:

"I was pretty good for a short period and, when I got banged up and hurt my back, it kind of robbed me of some things, things I wasn’t able to do after that. That’s just the way it is. There are a lot of guys who are probably in my boat, good players who got banged up and found it hard to be productive after that. For me, it was hard just to stay on the field. I was on the DL once a year, maybe twice, for the last five years. When you do that, it’s really frustrating because you start rolling a little bit and the next thing you know, you’re on the shelf. Couple that with my kids and everything and it’s enough."

As for the reason for his retirement, Mattingly said it was more for his family than because of his back:

"A lot of people say it was my back, but they just don’t know. It was a decision for my boys. They were starting high school and I wanted to be around to be part of their life. If I had signed another contract, my older two wouldn’t hardly know me. It was a family decision. That part was easy. I don’t have any regrets about that."

There's more to the interview, including what it was like to face the young Roger Clemens, and that Mattingly said voting for Clemens and Bonds are "tough calls." He also notes he didn't notice steroids while he was playing, but did once he started coaching.

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