If you wanted to describe the relationship between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2013, you could do it with one word.
There were fans being asked to change their clothes, bean balls, bench-clearing brawls, shows of disrespect, and a celebration that may have crossed over the lines of good taste (and sanitation, for that matter.)
Late in the season, on their way to the National League West crown, the Dodgers crushed the Diamondbacks 8-1, hitting six home runs in the process. There was plenty of celebration by the Dodgers in their home park, and very little in terms of fight shown by their Sedona Red-clad opponents.
This irked general manager Kevin Towers, and he vented his frustration on the airwaves of Arizona Sports.
“I was sitting behind home plate that game and when it showed up on the Diamondvision of stuffing bananas down their throats, I felt like we were a punching bag. Literally, if I would have had a carton of baseballs I would have fired them into the dugout from where I was sitting behind home plate.
“That’s not who we are as Diamondbacks, that’s not how — I mean, it’s a reflection on Gibby, on myself, on our entire organization. They slapped us around and we took it.”
The veteran GM also stated that he wasn’t a fan of how D-backs pitchers didn’t retaliate in times when Arizona batters were hit by pitches.
Towers was on the air again Wednesday morning — the same day the Diamondbacks begin their 2014 Cactus League schedule. The opponent? The Los Angeles Dodgers.
Is there unfinished business between the two teams? More to the point, will the bad blood between the two franchises linger into a new season, and should the D-backs be the ones to plunk an opposing hitter, like Yasiel Puig, for instance?
“I don’t think the front office should be ordering players to plunk other players,” Towers told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I think baseball players are smart, they’re aware of situations.
“To me, if business is warranted on the field, let the players take care of it.”
Including Spring Training, the D-backs and Dodgers will meet 22 times this season, including a regular-season opening two-game set in Australia in late March.