PHOENIX - Not only did the Diamondbacks lose the division race this season, they lost the fight. Literally.
In fact, back in early July following Base-brawl at Dodger Stadium, we penned a column where Calvisi Consulting observed that instead of Beat LA it had turned into Beatdown LA. The D-backs were getting their milk money stolen on the playground. Someone needed to dial the bullpen phone and report a bully.
When the benches cleared, the D-backs did not match up. As a result, it's our theory that they did not man up when the Dodgers came to town in late September.
Which D-backs player exactly would lead the charge against the menacing Dodgers? Eric Hinske, a linebacker sized slugger who squared off with Yasiel Puig in June, had been demoted before the All-Star break.
Previously, we figured that the toughest guy in either dugout was the manager Kirk Gibson. That is, until we saw Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire shove Gibby and Matt Williams around -- at the same time.
Again, it's our thinking that the D-backs saw that as well and never felt comfortable retaliating for multiple hit batters in the final Dodgers series.
"That's not who we are as Diamondbacks," GM Kevin Towers told Arizona Sports 620. "They slapped us around, and we took it."
"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," Towers said. 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.
Something tells me that when Towers sets about rebuilding the Diamondbacks this off-season, the word "slugger" will have more than one meaning.