The Dbacks and the Dodgers were at it again yesterday

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The Dodgers and the Dbacks played yesterday. They’ve had a bit of a feud going for a couple of years. One would think that with a new GM and new manager in Arizona — the old management was pretty pro-hitting guys — that it would die down a bit, but I guess not. Or maybe it was all accidental. It’s pretty hard to say. All I do know is that lots of guys were plunked and lots of guys were ejected in their matchup yesterday afternoon at Camelback Ranch.

In the first inning Dodgers starter Chris Anderson hit Mark Trumbo on a high and inside pitch. After the game Don Mattingly said it wasn’t intentional. I’ve seen Gifs of it (look here) but there’s no video on MLB.com. Seems maybe purposeful, but it’s hard to tell what people are doing in spring training. Maybe he’s just working on brushing guys back. Maybe he was possessed by the spirit of Don Drysdale.

Then, in the bottom half of the first, Daniel Hudson hit Justin Turner.  Turner was then plunked again in the fifth inning by Allen Webster. Here’s the second one:

The dumb thing there? Webster and manager Chip Hale were ejected because, after the stuff in the first inning, both benches had been warned. This despite the fact that the home plate umpire knew that the second plunk was not intentional:

Viva la Zero Tolerance.

Things didn’t stop there, as Dbacks pitcher Derek Eitel plunked Dodgers hitter Dillon Moyer in the bottom of the eighth. That led to more ejections, this time of Eitel and D-Backs bench coach Glenn Sherlock who had replaced Hale:

Was that intentional? Kinda looked like it? But who knows. We’re dealing with anonymous dudes at this point. Which could either mean (a) their control isn’t fabulous; or (b) they’re trying to impress someone.

It’ll be interesting to see if this is a harbinger of a continuation of bad blood between the clubs or if it’s just a spring training blip. I’d bet on the blip, but then again, I never would’ve bet on all of the nonsense between these two teams over the past couple of years in the first place.

The Players’ Weekend uniforms are terrible

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The Yankees and the Dodgers have a storied World Series history, having met in the Fall Classic 11 times. Part of what made those falls so classic was the livery worn by each club.

The Yankees’ uniforms have gone unchanged since 1936. The Dodgers, though changing cities in 1958, have had the same basic, classic look with only minor derivations for almost as long. You can’t even say the names of these teams without picturing pinstripes, those red Dodgers numbers, both teams’ clean road grays, the Yankees navy and the Dodgers’ Dodger blue.

They looked like a couple of expansion teams last night however, at least sartorially speaking.

As you probably know it’s Players’ Weekend this weekend, and teams all over the league wore either all black or all white with player-chosen nicknames on the back. We’ve had the nicknames for a couple of years now and that’s fine, but the black and white combo is new. It doesn’t look great, frankly. I riffed on that on Twitter yesterday a good bit. But beyond my mere distaste for the ensembles, they present a pretty problematic palette, too.

For one thing the guys in black blend in with the umpires. Quick, look at these infields and tell me who’s playing and who’s officiating:

The white batting helmets look especially bad:

But some guys — like Enrique Hernandez of the Dodgers, realized that pine tar makes the white helmets look super special:

There was also a general issue with the white-on-white uniforms in that it’s rather hard to read the names and the numbers on the backs of the jerseys. This was especially true during the Cubs-Nationals game in the afternoon sunlight. You’ll note this as a much bigger problem on Sunday. It’s all rather ironic, of course, that the players have been given the right to put fun, quirky nicknames on the backs of their jerseys but no one can really see them.

The SNY booth was reading many people’s minds last night, noting how much Mad Magazine “Spy vs. Spy” energy this is throwing off:

I’ll also note that if you’re flipping between games or looking at highlights on social media it’s super hard to even tell which team is which — and even what game’s highlights you’re seeing — just by looking which, you know, is sort of the point of having uniforms in the first place.

I’m glad the players have a weekend in which they’re allowed to wear what they want. I just wish they’d wear something better.