At this point, few hold allusions that the Arizona Diamondbacks will challenge the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West crown.
Entering play Tuesday, L.A. is 9.5 games up on Arizona with a record of 86-64, compared to the D-backs’ mark of 76-73.
The Dodgers’ “magic number” to clinch the division is four, and their next three games happen to be against the D-backs in Arizona.
Win two, and they’ll get to celebrate on their rival’s home field.
Needless to say, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson would like to see his team win these games, though it has little to do with what’s at stake.
“I think we try and prevent people from beating us every night that we play,” he told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Tuesday. “That’s one thing this club, we’re disappointed we’re not in a better position right now.
“But we do play hard, the guys haven’t checked out, they’re not looking to just play it out. So they get here, the Dodgers are here; I know they do want to celebrate in our face, but certainly we don’t want them to do that.”
Gibson, though, is not naive to the possibility that it may happen. Back in his playing days his manager forced the team to watch a rival team’s celebration as a form of motivation, but Arizona’s skipper said he had no such plans for his team, should the situation arise.
But, he said, not long ago he saw Adam Eaton and Tony Campana watching the Dodgers celebrate an extra-inning win, taking in the opposing team’s celebration.
“When things like that happen, those are the kinds of times when I’ll sit back and watch what people do,” he said. “I watch what people do all the time, and it kind of helps you figure out where they’re at and where they want to go.”
In the future, the D-backs would like to go into the postseason with a shot at winning the World Series. While that’s no longer a likely possibility this season, the last thing they’d like to see is someone else’s celebration on their field.