Since the middle of June, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks have been fighting, literally and figuratively. There was the brawl at Dodger Stadium on June 12 and the subsequent barbs coming from the Diamondbacks side haven’t stopped since the Dodgers clinched the NL West at Chase Field in late September.
The Dodgers celebrated their division title with a pool party and that angered the Diamondbacks, suggesting they were classless and there would be some sort of payback this season. Well, DBacks manager Kirk Gibson upped the ante last week, criticizing the Dodgers for sending catcher A.J. Ellis to Australia instead of someone more high profile, in his opinion.
Ellis was asked about Gibson’s comments by Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times and had this response:
I want to leave it and let it go. He said what he said. They’re making more … I don’t know what to say. I’m honored the Dodgers thought highly enough of me to let me represent what I think is definitely the best organization in the NL West and the best organization in baseball, in my opinion.
Truly one of the “good guys” in the game, Ellis described his incredible trip Down Under as he and Diamondbacks pitcher Patrick Corbin took in the scenery for the Opening Day series, March 22-23.
Gibson’s comments came on the heels of DBacks owner Ken Kendrick saying they “owed” the Dodgers this season and GM Kevin Towers suggested his pitchers throw inside when facing Dodger hitters. While the Diamondbacks have been doing a lot of talking, Dodger management hasn’t responded and Ellis did the standup thing in not responding to Gibson’s childish comments.
Coined “The Rumble Down Under” by Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, the Diamondbacks are trying their hardest to create a rivalry with the Dodgers and tensions will be high at Sydney Cricket Ground in four months.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and starter Dan Haren reached agreement on a one-year deal.