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Derrick Hall Can't Say Diamondbacks Will Clinch NL West

Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall was on with Doug and Wolf early Thursday evening on KTAR radio. The two hosts had some fun with their pal Hall, trying playfully to get him to say that the team will inevitably clinch the NL West. 

Call it baseball superstition or just denial, as Hall characterized it, but Hall can't do it. He doesn't want to jinx his team. Deep down, one has to believe, he knows it will happen, and perhaps at Chase Field next week. That's fine. The Diamondbacks can't possibly choke away their lead in the division and it's only a matter of time before Hall and the other D-backs execs can exhale and enjoy.

But something else Hall said in the interview was also interesting. He seemed to insinuate that Clayton Kershaw conveniently waited until he'd pitched five innings and qualified for his 19th win of the season Wednesday before deciding to intentionally throw at Arizona's Gerardo Parra in the top of the sixth, a plunking that led to Kershaw's ejection.

Maybe. Maybe not. But Hall need look no further than his own manager to appreciate the actions of Kershaw and the Dodgers, because it's a page right out of Gibby-ball.

Let's say Kershaw made good on his threats he yelled from the dugout after Parra clearly grandstanded and disrespected the Dodgers by A) glaring at pitcher Hong-Chi Kuo, who threw high and tight to Parra in Tuesday night's Arizona win, and B) admiring for far too long the home run ball he hit off Kuo in the same at bat, then mouthing off at Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis as he crossed home plate.

Kershaw was dominating the D-backs Wednesday. He didn't have to purposely hit Parra. But if he did, he did so for the honor of his team and the respect of his teammates, who saw that their ace is willing to sacrifice another good stat toward his campaign for the NL Cy Young Award by hitting the guy who showed up his team.

Tell me that's not something Gibson could appreciate. Let the players play and carry out their own baseball justice.

The Dodgers could not let Parra slide for what he did. And Kershaw made sure they didn't, be it on purpose or not.

The D-backs are going to the playoffs, deservedly so. The Dodgers are going nowhere. But at least they showed some heart and guile for not allowing a player from a division rival to show them up in their own house. By Kershaw sending that message to Parra, who erred in judgment by his actions, the Dodgers saved face and salvaged pride. And Kershaw proved that having his teammates' back means more to him than just wins. 

Or did you miss all the pats on the back and applause Kershaw got from his teammates when he got back into the dugout after being ejected? They LOVED it. Believe that.