SnakeBytes: 3/20: Warmup edition

The Dodgers were within six outs of an embarrassing blanking at the hands of Team Australia, before breaking through, but Adrian Gonzalez is apparently upset hoverboards were not part of the sightseeing package.

Down under

[The Roar] Why the Diamondbacks hate the Dodgers - "It’s a legitimate rivalry. Both teams don’t really like each other," said Arizona pitcher, JJ Putz. "I don’t know what’s going through their heads, I don’t care. All I can speak for is on behalf of the Diamondbacks and we’re really excited to be here. Putz won’t rule out another heated clash between the fibros and silvertails in Sydney. "Anything is a possibility," he said."We’ll just see how the game goes and if anything happens you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do."

[dbacks.com] Rowland-Smith, Shipley at home in Australia - "The whole clubhouse is enjoying it," Rowland-Smith said. "They love Australia. And I'll never get tired of talking about Australia or baseball in Australia. They're my two favorite topics." Rowland-Smith said he and some other D-backs were enjoying lunch and the scenery at the seaside hotspot of Watsons Bay when one of his teammates said, "I want to live here."

[MLB.com] Miley takes over for Corbin as Diamondbacks' Opening Day starter - Wade Miley refuses to look at himself as the D-backs' Opening Day starter. It's not that the left-hander is nervous or overwhelmed by the moment, but rather, he is not going to celebrate something that came at the expense of a friend. "This is Pat's role," Miley said. "I'm just filling in for Pat. He earned it, he deserved it and it stinks what happened to him. It stinks for our team, it stinks for him for him as an individual, but he's a strong guy -- he'll be able to overcome this and hopefully next year be back where he belongs to be."

[Sporting News] Why MLB thinks Australia is on verge of baseball boom - In terms of Little League participation, Australia trails only the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Such grass-roots organizations is inn stark contrast to the 1980s and ’90s, when many of the Aussies who made it to U.S. professional baseball did so almost by accident. [Craig] Shipley had dropped out of high school and was working at a bank at 16 when a Cardinals scout who had seen him play recommended he go back to school. As a condition of readmission, Shipley had to play rugby along with baseball.

[AL.com] Former BayBears broadcaster calling MLB season-opening series in Australia - "Part of my job doing the games for the (Melbourne) Aces was to sort of educate the public about baseball," Durham said, "because we were the first Australian team ever to broadcast live on analog radio. It was historic being part of the first team to broadcast their games live on the radio. I have to call the game a little bit differently. It's not like an American baseball audience that they know everything. Sometimes you have to explain little details that you normally would take for granted."

[SMH] Los Angeles Dodgers impressed by valiant Team Australia showing - When Ian Chappell addressed Team Australia before their historic match against the Los Angeles Dodgers, his advice was simple: play the ball, not the opponent. When your team has a combined value of about $1 million and the other mob's is about $245 million, it's easier said than done. But at the bottom of the eighth it was David 2, Goliath 0. But, as is so often the case with Team Australia, they couldn't close it out.

Another glass of Californian whine? [dodgers.com] Gonzalez plans to play Dodgers' opener despite sore back - Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has lower back tightness he thinks was triggered by sightseeing, but it shouldn't keep him from starting Opening Night against the D-backs. "I need to rest, get off my feet," said Gonzalez, who was removed from Thursday night's 4-2 exhibition win against Team Australia in the fourth inning. "I've done a lot of walking around the city."

O RLY? [Courier-Mail] Don Mattingly says the LA Dodgers can’t help being perceived as bad guys - "What started with Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke and that infamous "zero interest" line, has since exploded with claims about more Dodgers not wanting to be here, about them being far more aloof than the Arizona Diamondbacks . . . a $250 million superpower who have even been compared to, gasp, the Manly Sea Eagles. And so yesterday, in a largely American media scrum, Mattingly was asked why we mongrels of the Australian press had decided to label his boys the bad guys. The heels. Off putting."

Other team news

[CBSSports] Mets in market for shortstop, but not willing to deal Syndergaard - The D-Backs and Mariners both have shortstops being discussed in trade talk with the Mets, and Syndergaard would be a pitcher interesting to either team, especially the Diamondbacks. However, the Mets aren't willing to offer the big righthander Syndergaard in a deal for a shortstop, according to a person familair with their thinking.

[ArizonaSports] GM: No plans to trade either shortstop - "Both shortstops we like a lot, and it would have to take a pretty significant deal for us to discuss one of them," D-backs GM Kevin Towers said. "We really haven't had any dialogue all spring about either of our shortstops."

[trivalleycentral.com] Reed relishes his role as reliever - "The talent here is unbelievable. We have starters with power arms and are deep in relievers." And then he took a veiled shot at the Los Angeles Dodgers without mentioning the defending National League West champions. "People can say what they want to say (about who is best)," Reed said. "Money can only take you so far. You need a group working together, working for one another. I think me and everyone else knows that we have as good a shot as anyone to win this season."

[FOX Sports] 2014 Arizona Diamondbacks preview - Watching rival LA party in Arizona's home pool after clinching the NL West didn't sit well with the D-backs. The front office made some offseason additions, but will they be enough to catch the Dodgers?

And elsewhere

[ESPN] Reds' Chapman hit in head, game stopped - Tests indicated fractures about the left eye and nose. Price and Royals manager Ned Yost met with the umpires after a 12-minute delay and agreed to stop game. "The fun goes out of it all," Yost told MLB.com. "It's just not a productive atmosphere after that to continue the game. You're just not going to get anything out of it. And we all play this game but nobody wants to see anybody get hurt ever."

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