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Rod Barajas
A.J. Ellis fought to get to the majors
A.J. Ellis fought to get to the majors

It happened one time too many. For four years, A.J. Ellis had bounced up and down between the minors and the big club. Finally, right after the 2011 the All-Star break, Ellis could take it no more. He was 30 when sent back to triple-A Albuquerque after the Dodgers activated Rod Barajas off the disabled list. Ellis felt he was ready and feared opportunity closing. He was the consummate team player, but he marched into Manager Don Mattingly's office. "I was hot," Ellis said. "I told Donnie that he was making a bad decision. And this team was all about winning and this was definitely not the right decision." Mattingly hardly took offense. He respected...

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