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Kirk Gibson mad at Dodgers for sending A.J. Ellis on goodwill tour

SportsBaseballMajor League BaseballLos Angeles DodgersArizona DiamondbacksA.J. EllisChase Field

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They’re huffing and puffing over in Arizona again. They must like to do that in the desert. Guess there’s nothing much else to do but sweat.

The Diamondbacks must really, really want a rivalry with the Dodgers. Must be good box office.

Last time we saw the Diamondbacks, they had their panties in a snit because several of the Dodgers celebrated capturing the National League West in Phoenix by jumping into the swimming pool at Chase Field. Seems the Dodgers were unaware this was Arizona holy water.

And now comes this, Diamondbacks Manager and ultimate Dodgers World Series hero Kirk Gibson is irate at the Dodgers again. Hey, it’s mid-November; a manager has to do something.

The Dodgers and Diamondbacks are scheduled to open the 2014 season with a two-game series in Sydney, Australia. To drum up support for the series, the Diamondbacks and Dodgers have sent players Down Under on your basic public-relations tour.

Only according to Gibson in a Dan Bickley column in the Arizona Republic, the Diamondbacks went first class. They sent first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and team Chief Executive Derrick Hall earlier, and had pitcher Patrick Corbin join Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis (and executive vice president Lon Rosen) on a just-completed visit.

Gibson, in trying to explain why the culture of the Diamondbacks left him uninterested in the opening to manage his hometown Tigers, told Bickley:

“I’ll give you an example. Look at the guys who went down [on a goodwill tour of] Australia for us. Why did they do it? It’s who we are. It’s who the Diamondbacks are. We’re committed to the game of baseball. We’re committed to the community. I’ll put our organization up against anybody’s in terms of doing the right thing.

“We had Goldy go down there, along with Patrick Corbin and Derrick Hall, our president and CEO. Who’s the other team got down there? Are they too [expletive] good? Honestly?”

Really? Gibson has nothing better to this winter than to disparage the ability of Ellis? Guess he’s still miffed at Ellis for hitting that game-winning homer at Chase Field to clinch the division.

Seems he wanted a superstar to go down for the Dodgers, you know, like Patrick Corbin. Although at this moment Clayton Kershaw is in Africa on his annual humanitarian trip. And Yasiel Puig has been hosting Little Leaguers at Dodger Stadium and visiting a children’s hospital. Matt Kemp, of course, is coming off surgery.

Ellis is the perfect guy to send, actually, he’s personable, intelligent, great in front of the camera and seems to have a future as a blogger.

But it’s not enough that the teams brawled last June, or that the Diamondbacks had to manufacture a pool controversy, or that the team's managing general partner, Ken Kendrick, said earlier this month: “We owe those guys. I think to get the opportunity to begin the payback for them winning the division the very first day of the season is a great opportunity for us.”

I’m telling you, there’s nothing to do in Arizona but watch cactus grow. I’m starting to feel sorry for these guys.

As Chad Moriyama wrote, “You want to get revenge on the Dodgers? Beat them in 2014. But for the love of god, stop embarrassing yourself with this faux macho BS press tour. Even your own fans aren’t buying it.”

What a novelty. Do your talking with your play. Unless it’s the off-season in Phoenix and there’s nothing else to do.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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