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D-Backs beat Pirates on controversial no-call at second base (Video)

Nick-Ahmed-slideThe Arizona Diamondbacks managed to split their series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday with a walk-off win, but some will argue they didn’t earn it. With the game tied 2-2 in the 10th inning, Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed broke up a would-be double play by lifting his left hand on his slide to deflect the ball. He may have done it intentionally.

Pirates second baseman Jayson Nix’s throw hit Ahmed in the hand as Ahmed went into his slide. Had second base umpire Ron Kulpa ruled that Ahmed batted the ball on purpose, he could have automatically awarded the double play to Pittsburgh. Instead, Kulpa felt there was not enough evidence to indicate that Ahmed got his hand in the way intentionally. A run scored from third and the game ended.

“The guy has to do something obviously, willfully, intentionally to break up the double play,” Kulpa said after the game, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Guys slide into second base all the time with their hands up. It’s a big play. We looked at the tape, and Lance got it right.”

When you watch the replay in slow motion, it sure looks like Ahmed knew what he was doing. But in Kulpa’s defense, the play was a judgment call and was not reviewable. He didn’t have the luxury of watching it in slow motion, and in real-time he obviously just saw a runner sliding with his hands up like many others do.

Naturally, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle disagreed with the call.

“I felt there was an extra effort (by Ahmed) to get his hand up in the way,” Hurdle said.

I agree, but I’m not saying I would have caught it in game speed.

Also see: D-Backs reliever ejected for intentionally plunking Andrew McCutchen

H/T Hardball Talk

Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers: Our pitchers need to retaliate, hit more batters

kevin-towersArizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers is not happy with his team’s 81-81 season. Most GMs are frustrated after missing the playoffs, but Towers seems a bit more irritated than others. He wants his team to be tougher. And what does he mean by that? They have to start hitting more batters and stop eating bananas in the dugout.

During an interview with Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo on Tuesday, Towers vented about how he wishes his team would show more grit.

“You’d think the GM comes down and makes it a point to talk to the staff about it that at we need to start protecting our own and doing things differently,” he said, via ArizonaSports.com’s Adam Green. “Probably a week later (first baseman Paul Goldschmidt) gets dinged, and no retaliation. It’s like ‘wait a minute.’

“Not that I don’t take any of our guys from a lesser standpoint, but if Goldy’s getting hit, it’s an eye for an eye, somebody’s going down or somebody’s going to get jackknifed.”

Towers did note that he is not saying his pitchers should be looking to injure opponents, though I’m not sure you can plunk someone and be confident you’re not going to hurt them. He says knowing when to retaliate should be an inherent part of the game that players adhere to. He even went so far as to say the organization will be looking to deal players who don’t show toughness.

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Dodgers reportedly peed in Arizona Diamondbacks’ pool

Dodgers pool party

The Los Angeles Dodgers caused a controversy when they jumped into the swimming pool beyond the fence at Chase Field after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks to clinch the NL West last week.

D-backs infielder Willie Bloomquist ripped the Dodgers, calling their celebration “disrespectful and classless.” We agreed with him that the celebration was classless, but we didn’t realize the Dodgers took it as far as they supposedly did.

Tony Jackson, a veteran sports writer who covered the Dodgers for the LA Daily News and ESPN Los Angeles, wrote on his new Dodgers website Dodgerscribe.com, that at least one Dodgers player urinated in the pool and bragged about it.

From Jackson:

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Willie Bloomquist: Dodgers pool celebration ‘disrespectful and classless’

The Arizona Diamondbacks asked the Los Angeles Dodgers not to celebrate on the field if they clinched the NL West title, so the Dodgers decided to partially obey the request and headed to the swimming pool instead.

The Dodgers beat the D-backs 7-6 on Thursday to clinch the division, and they started their celebration inside the clubhouse. After a few minutes, about half the team’s players ran onto the field, hopped the right-center fence and plunged into the swimming pool.

D-backs infielder Willie Bloomquist was not happy with the Dodgers for their pool celebration.

“I think it’s tired and disrespectful,” Bloomquist said, via ArizonaSports.com. “It’s surprising because they have a lot of veteran guys on that team that I thought were classier than that.”

“But there’s a fine line between going overboard at someone else’s place and doing that, I think,” he added. “But what are we going to do about it? There’s not much we can do about it now. They’ve clinched the division this year, but if that’s how they’re going to act and be classless, that’s their gig, that’s their clubhouse. I just think it’s disrespectful and classless.”

D-backs president Derrick Hall took the high road.

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Arizona Diamondbacks introduce Luchador team mascot

D-Backs-Luchador-mascot

The Arizona Diamondbacks have introduced a new mascot. As a result, fans walking around Chase Field will have to keep their heads on a swivel so they don’t get a flying elbow from the top rope.

Introducing the D-Backs Luchador.

This as about as intense as it gets in the mascot game. I doubt Wally the Green Monster or Raymond the Tampa Bay Rays mascot can bench press 300 pounds or crush beer cans on their abs. The D-Backs Luchador made his first appearance earlier this season and was immediately taken to by fans, so the team decided to make him the official mascot. Arizona has even announced it will give away Luchador masks to the first 20,000 fans who arrive at the ballpark on July 27.

In the event of a mascot war over the remaining few months of the season, I know who I’m putting my money on.

Diamondbacks owner made Dodgers fans switch gear or move seats

Dodgers fans Chase Field

The Arizona Diamondbacks forced some Los Angeles Dodgers fans sitting in premium seats behind the plate at Chase Field on Friday night choose between removing their Dodgers gear or switching seats, according to a story from Deadspin.

Deadspin notes that early in Friday’s game, which the Diamondbacks won 3-0, there were a handful of fans in Dodgers gear sitting behind home plate. The Dodgers gear was no longer visible later in the game. That’s because Arizona owner Ken Kendrick gave the fans the option of switching gear or moving seats.

“Due to the high visibility of the home plate box, we ask opposing team’s fans when they purchase those seats to refrain from wearing that team’s colors,” the D-backs said in a note to Deadspin. “During last night’s game, when Ken Kendrick noticed the fans there, he offered them another suite if they preferred to remain in their Dodger gear. When they chose to stay, he bought them all D-backs gear and a round of drinks and requested that they abide by our policy and they obliged.”

So, what are the D-backs telling us here? We’ll take your money, and we’ll let rival fans into the park, but you’re not going to make us look bad on TV.

The screenshot at the top of this post is from the first inning. The after picture below is from the eighth:

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Trevor Bauer says rap song was about critics in general, not Diamondbacks

Trevor-Bauer-Miguel-Montero-DiamondbacksOn Wednesday, former Arizona Diamonbacks pitcher Trevor Bauer released a new rap song entitled “You Don’t Know Me.” The timing of the release was an incredible coincidence, as D-Backs catcher Miguel Montero had just made comments earlier this week about Bauer and how difficult he was to work with.

The rap track (which you can listen to here) had plenty of curious lines in it like, “You hide behind a mask to facilitate a task,” but Bauer insists it was a message to his haters in general and not about any of his former teammates.

“The song was done in early December about people on Twitter who say you’re terrible, work on your ERA, stick to this, stick to that,” Bauer said according to The Plain Dealer. “It wasn’t made about anyone in particular, certainly not about Miguel Montero.”

There’s very little the now-Cleveland Indians pitcher could say to make me believe nothing in the song was written about what transpired in Arizona, but you had to know that’s what he would say. What really is a relief, however, is that Bauer acknowledged he is horrible at rapping.

“If someone was to go out and fish and catch a two-inch fish, no one would make fun of them,” he said. “But because I go out and I’m terrible at rapping, but I enjoy the process about making the beat and writing the lyrics, and I happen to put it online, if someone wanted to listen or happened to like it, I get blown up about it and there’s a whole bunch of controversy over a hobby I do.”

Welcome to life in the big leagues. Everything you do is going to be viewed under a microscope, even if it’s messing around and writing a crappy rap song. If he doesn’t already, Bauer will understand that in time.