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Arizona Diamondbacks

Updated Jun 18, 2013 - 1:26 pm

D-backs skipper Gibson: Up to coaches to resolve fights, not escalate them

By the time the dust settled, Major League Baseball had apparently decided the Arizona Diamondbacks were most to blame for the brawl that erupted between them and the Los Angeles Dodgers last week.

Arizona's Ian Kennedy and Eric Hinske were each suspended for multiple games, while manager Kirk Gibson was docked one game.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles players J.P. Howell and Skip Schumaker, along with coach Mark McGwire, all received two-game bans, while reliever Ronald Belisario and skipper Don Mattingly were each suspended for one game.

A guest of Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo Tuesday, Gibson said he never told Kennedy to plunk Yasiel Puig or Zack Greinke anywhere, let alone in the face.

"Anybody thinks that that was intentional doesn't know what they're talking about," he said with regards to the pitch that hit Puig.

"The inference by anybody on the other side that I would order that, they're just dead wrong and they're merely trying to justify their own actions," he said of the ball that hit Grienke.

Yet, apparently the Dodgers' coaching staff thought differently, which is why they reacted the way they did during the brawl. Gibson said the fact that he told them nothing was ordered from the dugout did not matter much.

"To be honest with you, they didn't hear a word I said," Gibson noted.

Mattingly, the video showed, threw D-backs bench coach Alan Trammell to the ground, and McGwire confronted both Gibson and coach Matt Williams, looking like he wanted to throw some punches of his own.

"I was right there, I was right there," Gibson said of McGwire.

However, Gibson said McGwire "was mad," and that he doesn't hold the confrontation against anyone.

"The next day at home plate, Don Mattingly apologized to me," he said, adding that the Dodgers' boss asked him to apologize to Trammell as well. "I told him not to worry about it. It's baseball, it's a game, I said 'I'm going to come at you hard tonight, you come at me hard tonight, if you've got to throw the ball inside don't be afraid to do so because we're going to do it as well.'"

While the managers may be on the same page, chances are good the players are not yet done with the rivalry. The bad blood will likely remain for a while, meaning something like this could happen again. And should it, Gibson said he and his coaches will do what coaches are supposed to do when a donnybrook breaks out.

Hint: it's not what the Dodgers did.

"You're out there to try and get it resolved, you're not trying to escalate a fight," he said. "It's not your responsibility.

"There's no question that's our role, and certainly everybody on our team tried to do that. We understood why they were mad. They took a little different tact, and I don't think the penalties reflected that, but it was pretty clear to anybody who watched the film."

About the Author

School: University of Arizona

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: Fall 2008, right before Cardinals Super Bowl run

Favorite sports memory: Being at Game 7 of the 2001 World Series with my dad

Favorite all-time athlete: Larry Centers

Favorite sports movies: The Sandlot, Rookie of the Year, Jerry Maguire

Most crushing sports moment: Grew up in Arizona and went to UA from 2002-06. In short, there are too many to name just one.


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