10/13/07 11:04 AM ET
A fitting end to Salazar's surreal '07
D-backs outfielder faces former teammates in NLCS
By Michael Schwartz / MLB.com
The pair shared dinner together Wednesday and Thursday night, with plenty of trash talk going around on both sides."We talk trash nonstop: who's going to win, who's not going to win and how we're going to win and whatever," Salazar said. "It's fun. It's probably even more difficult because when he gets up to bat, I want to rob him more than anybody else, and probably vice versa." Spilborghs said he took it hard when the Rockies released not only a solid outfielder, but his best friend. "I thought he was a quality player and quality person, and somebody that fit in our clubhouse really well," Spilborghs said. "He bounces back. He's always super confident and motivated to get better. That's why we kind of drew towards each other. We both were wanting to get better and constantly pushed each other." Since being recalled from Triple-A for the second time this year on Aug. 15, Salazar has moved into a platoon role in right field, earning the majority of the time against right-handers, including a Game 2 start in which he went 0-for-3. He finished the regular season hitting .277 with 10 RBIs in 38 games, while being a player whom Arizona manager Bob Melvin has said always seems to provide a spark when put in the lineup. Salazar said it's rewarding for him to be able to fulfill his dreams after being released, saying he's thankful to the D-backs for providing that opportunity after his career turned. "It's just one of those things, unfortunately, you have to accept," Salazar said. "I would have loved to have stayed with the same organization my entire career. It's just part of it, and it's a tribute to how well they've drafted and got guys over there, and they were able to part with me, and they're still here, they're fine. They did fine without me." Looking back on it, Spilborghs said it's incredible that he and Salazar have reached baseball's biggest stage together, but in opposite dugouts. "To be one team away from being in the World Series and especially where Jeff's coming from, he got released by the Rockies and how he has a chance to beat us, I'm sure it's going to feel much better for him," Spilborghs said. "This is what you play for. "We've been roommates for five years, and then we're both in this position that one of us will go to the World Series. That's exciting."
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.