SnakeBytes 3/19: Jet-lag edition

Another day down under for the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, and there are already complaints from Los Angeles players and media. This is my shocked face.

Down under

[ESPN LA] Dodgers, Diamondbacks enjoy a historic venue Down Under - The builders had to build dugouts where there were none. They are smaller than most. The steps were so steep, Arizona coach Mark Grace muttered, "Good Lord, don’t they know how un-athletic we ballplayers are?" as he struggled to make his way down them at Tuesday’s workout. "Yeah, I like it. It looks like a pitchers’ park, a lot of foul ground," said Arizona pitcher Wade Miley, who will throw the first pitch of the first major league game to be played here.

[AZ Central] Turning hallowed cricket ground into ballpark not easy - At first glance, the field, which has vast amounts of foul territory, looks as though it would favor pitchers. But after Tuesday's workout, players with both teams weren't so sure. Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock called the outfield grass the fastest he's ever seen, particularly the area around the cricket pitch, located just behind second base. Dodgers hitters said the ball was carrying well, so much so that catcher A.J. Ellis wondered whether the dimensions — 328 feet down the line, 370 to the power alleys and 400 to center field — were measured accurately.

[dbacks.com] Sydney Cricket Ground welcomes America's pastime - Out beyond what is serving as the left-center-field wall this week, there's a bronze statue behind a front-row stall. It's the likeness of legendary SCG fan Stephen Harold Gascoigne, better known as "Yabba," who enjoyed heckling the British team. He's in full scream, with a bottle of beer to his right. The inscription on the plaque reads, "A tribute by the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust to every spectator who has ever come to these Grounds."

Whinging Dodgers #1: [latimes.com] MLB to media in Australia: Just smile and have a Vegemite sandwich - "If Major League Baseball wants this pair of games to actually spur interest and grow the game Down Under, you would think they’d make it as media friendly as possible. Instead of the opposite, which is more like what they’re doing." Also: something something bloggers pajamas. Stay classy, LA!

Whinging Dodgers #2: [latimes.com] Andre Ethier irritated by questions about Sydney playing surface - Without the slightest trace of a smile, a clearly irritated Ethier sarcastically recited the company line. "Glad to be here," Ethier said. "Fun trip. This is a good time. Great for baseball. Good for Australia. Happy to be here, guys." Asked what it was like out there, Ethier said curtly, "I’m here to play a baseball game. I boarded a plane last night and this is where I landed. I’m here to play." Told of how Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock described it, Ethier snapped, "Write whatever he said."

Well, if you insist... [dbacks.com] D-backs take in Sydney Cricket Ground - There were some areas of the infield where there were some bad hops, and Pollock in center faces the unique challenge of having a portion of shallow center being harder than the rest, because it's where the clay that holds the wickets for the cricket matches. "It's not an issue," Pollock said. "It's different. No problem at all." Tuesday, though, was about admiring the place. "We got in here and everyone took 20 minutes to just soak it in," Pollock said. "It's just an amazing looking park. They did a great job. They've got a really, really neat park."

[Telegraph] The day two sporting titans in Sir Don Bradman and Babe Ruth met at a baseball game in 1932 - True story. In 1934, Sir Don also played as part of an Australian touring side in my home-town in Scotland, and was retired by the grandfather of a guy I went to school with. Eighty years later, here we are...

Er... what? [SMH.com] Language barrier? Fair suck of the sav, Yanks will understand perfectly - The revamped Sydney Cricket Ground is ready for you to have a red hot go in your season opener in front of a pretty full crowd - not full of it like Lady Muck but full of amber fluid. ''What's that you say, Bud?'' Yeah no mate. Bud tastes like dirty dishwater. Go for a slab or a schooey of Reschs. When you're as dry as a dingo's donger down under, tickle the tonsils with a coldie and she'll be apples.

Team news (non-Antipodean)

[Yahoo Sports] Glut of recent arm injuries highlights baseball's struggle to find answers - "I'm the guy the guys are going to now," Hudson said. "This isn't a good thing to be an expert on. I'm the last guy I'd ever think to give advice on something like that, considering how bad a spot I was in nine months ago." He was depressed. Angry. Contemplative. He rued the rehab. He hated the boredom. He dreaded the loneliness. That's what this is. It is why Hudson considered quitting. He tabled that thought quickly and vowed to face long odds.

[AZ Central] Versatility vital to value of Diamondbacks' Josh Collmenter - Diamondbacks reliever Josh Collmenter is some combination of a unicorn and a Swiss Army knife. That might conjure images of a horse-like creature with a rotating series of tools in place of a horn, but in a baseball sense it's a little less nightmarish: The 28-year-old Collmenter can do a bit of everything when it comes to pitching, and there might not be anyone else like him.

[ArizonaSports] Losing Patrick Corbin doesn't spell doom for the Diamondbacks - If the offense can carry the team, they can win a lot of games 6-4, 7-5, 8-6. What they can't afford is for the offense to falter. If it does, this season will be a long one. So don't write off the Diamondbacks just yet. Bronson Arroyo and Wade Miley are good pitchers. Archie Bradley will be here at some point. And they will likely trade the loser of the shortstop battle for a starting pitcher. Losing Corbin hurts, it hurts bad. There's no getting around that. But to write them off at this point is ridiculous. The season hasn't even started.

[ESPN NY] D-backs dispatch scout contingent to PSL - The most interesting sight on the back fields for Mets minor-league intrasquad games Tuesday was not newly demoted Noah Syndergaard pitching. It was the army of Arizona Diamondbacks scouts, that were on hand watching Mets prospects. Arizona dispatched special assistant Todd Greene and two other scouts. They saw Syndergaard facing right-hander Logan Verrett on a back field, as well as Kevin Plawecki behind the plate. The Mariners and Diamondbacks are the two most likely trade partners for the Mets if they upgrade from Ruben Tejada.

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