The Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks are set to kick off the entire 2014 season in Australia next month, just a few months removed from a 2013 season filled altercations and incidents.
After a regular season game in June turned into a benches-clearing brawl, the two National League West teams were involved in a pennant race that ended when the Dodgers defeated the Diamondbacks at Chase Field and proceeded to celebrate by jumping into the pool at the ballpark.
According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, Diamondbacks’ general manager Kevin Towers took some time to discuss the team’s off-season talks about the 2014 season series against the Dodgers:
The way our players feel is last year is last year. We need to turn the page. It’s not going to fuel us anymore to kind of bring up what happened. What we need to do is on the field. Less talk, just go out and perform and beat them head to head. If you’re able to beat them head to head, you’ve kind of accomplished what you wanted to do vs. talking about what took place last year with the brawl or what happened in the pool.
Towers went on to add that most of the words said after the pool incident came from the frustration that occurred after the Dodgers took the division lead and won the title. Many Diamondback players, executives and supporters lashed out against the Dodgers and manager Kirk Gibson even criticized the team’s decision to send A.J. Ellis to Australia for promotion for the opening series.
The Dodgers came from last place on June 22 to take the division from the Diamondbacks, who led most of the season. Many believed that the Diamondbacks would carry the grudge into the season and expected another incident in Australia, but from the words of the Towers, that may not ring true.
As the only two teams to start spring training, the NL West rivals will have all eyes on them in Australia come March 22.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and Justin Turner agreed to a minor league contract