Good to know a relaxing November hasn't calmed down the boiling rivalry between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers. No pools were involved this time, but D-backs manager Kirk Gibson did fire a missile at the Dodgers this week.
The Dodgers and Diamondbacks will be starting the 2014 in Australia, playing a two-game opening series there as part of MLB's continuing efforts to globalize the game. To get the Aussies excited about this, both teams have had players visiting Australia since the season ended.
The D-backs, though, if you listen to Gibson, have done better than the Dodgers by sending MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt and breakout pitcher Patrick Corbin. In an overall fired-up interview with the Arizona Republic, Gibson implied the Dodgers didn't send good enough players.
“I’ll give you an example,” Gibson said. “Look at the guys who went down (on a goodwill tour of) Australia for us. Why did they do it? It’s who we are. It’s who the Diamondbacks are. We’re committed to the game of baseball. We’re committed to the community. I’ll put our organization up against anybody’s in terms of doing the right thing.
“We had Goldy go down there, along with Patrick Corbin and Derrick Hall, our president and CEO. Who’s the other team got down there? Are they too (expletive) good? Honestly?”
The Dodgers sent catcher A.J. Ellis, who isn't the biggest name in their clubhouse, but in his defense, is one of the most likable guys in baseball. He's great at TV interviews, and he's probably just as good at representing his team and MLB in a foreign country.
Sure, he's not Yasiel Puig or Clayton Kershaw or Adrian Gonzalez, but as Dodgers blogger Chad Moriyama points out (he's also a bit fired up), the Dodgers stars have other things going on.
Clayton Kershaw is in Africa. Yasiel Puig is DESTROYING THE GAME by working with kids. Matt Kemp is recovering from surgery. Hyun Jin Ryu is back in Korea, probably de-stressing from being around insane Americans. I mean, I guess they could send Adrian Gonzalez, but he’s busy in Disneyland with his daughter, and who else would even be recognizable? Do you really want Zack Greinke doing PR for your franchise? Good lord.
The retort neglects to mention that if the Dodgers sent Puig to Australia there's a decent chance he rides a kangaroo and never comes back to America, choosing instead to live in the outback and become a modern-day Crocodile Dundee.
The bigger issue here is that it's another instance of someone from the D-backs waving their finger and tsk-tsking the Dodgers, which, if you're a Dodgers fan might be tiresome. But if you're a baseball fan, it's kind of fun to see a new rivalry building.
The two teams had an on-field brawl in June. Then, of course, there was the swimming pool drama. Earlier this month D-backs owner Ken Kendrick said, "We owe those guys." Kendrick is also the guy who, in April, forced Dodgers fans who were sitting in premium seats at Chase Field to change their clothes.
If things keep up, this will be great for Australia. They're going to see two teams fuming at each other.
- - - - - - -