PHOENIX – There has been plenty of talk about the Arizona Diamondbacks improved play on the field this season.
However, not much has been made about the improved chemistry within the clubhouse.
Closer J.J. Putz was a guest on Intentional Talk this week and described a funny scene where during a drill manager Kirk Gibson bolted running down first base.
The D-backs manager tripped over the bag and fell face first into the ground scattering the team in laughter.
“I’ve never seen anything like that. He turfed it bad. He has cuts all over his knees. It was something we played over and over again,” said Putz.
Outfielder Chris Young and Justin Upton were also guests on Intentional Talk and chimed in on the subject.
“Gibby’s getting old. He tried to go too hard. That was ugly,” said Upton.
Gibson has been praised for his intensity and discipline he has brought to the D-backs as manager, but it’s important not to ride the players too hard and a stunt like this only helps to build team morale.
For Young and Upton, they have developed a tight bond during their time in Arizona together.
“Those guys do everything the same. They definitely have some separation anxiety when they’re not right next to each other,” said Putz.
It’s good that the D-backs now have veteran leadership in players like Putz to keep the team from getting off track.
Putz is trying to keep himself focused on one game at a time instead of thinking about making the All-Star game in Phoenix.
“It would definitely be cool, but I’m not really worried about that right now. Just trying to be efficient when I’m out there and giving this team a chance to win every single night,” said Putz.
Chris Young is happy for the team to turn the page from where it’s been the past two seasons.
“The last couple seasons have been tough. It’s nice to see our name up on the leaderboard again. We’re playing good baseball and really showing some people that we’re capable of a lot of things as a team,” said Young.