It is quite ironic that when the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers engaged in their infamous brawl last year, the groundwork was being laid for this weekend’s opening series in Australia. The pool party celebration that took place after the Dodgers clinched the National League West heightened tensions for both clubs. Fast forward six months and you have to wonder how the players are getting along being in such close proximity for at least a week. According to Nick Piecoro at azcentral.com, there appears to be no issues and the risk of something ugly happening in either game is remote. However, when the teams return stateside, does that mean the nasty history between the two of them gets pushed to the background?
I suppose the answer would be to forgive but not forget. It would be impossible to ignore or completely forget what happened last year. However, I do believe that with so much time being spent in such close quarters, guys will get to know each other outside of what they see in uniform. They will be almost forced to talk to each other for fear of many moments of awkward silence. It also helps that Ian Kennedy, one of the main triggers of the ill feelings, is in a different uniform. Even Clayton Kershaw, not a D’back favorite, had some positive things to say:
“It should all be in the past. I know from our end we don’t expect anything. I like a lot of those guys and I have a ton of respect for the majority of those guys and the way they play. Sometimes, things boil over. Obviously, I have my side of it and they have their side of it.”
Aaron Hill also had an interesting comment:
“No one’s talked about what happened last year — at least not in our clubhouse. As far as bad blood, I don’t feel it.”
Does this mean there will be a group outing with both teams boarding a bus together to see the new Muppets’ movie? Probably not. It will be interesting to see how the first pitch thrown inside, deliberate or not, will affect the teams. While I don’t believe the past has been totally forgotten, I do believe these guys have a new-found respect and admiration for each other.