Apparently the Diamondbacks had asked the Dodgers not to come back onto Arizona’s home field after they had gone into the clubhouse to celebrate clinching the division crown last night. Technically, the Dodgers complied with the letter of that request.
If you haven’t seen the video yet, fear not. We’ll share it here. After popping bottles of champagne in the locker room, someone among the team got the brilliant idea to up the ante on their celebration by taking it over the outfield fence to the swimming pool at Chase Field.
I can’t help but point out that pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu needed a little assistance getting over the fence.
Apparently the Diamondbacks were miffed. They had said they didn’t want the Dodgers coming back onto their field to celebrate. They meant they wanted the Dodgers to stay in the clubhouse and celebrate out of sight. And they feel like the post-game pool party was a slap in their face and the face of their fan base.
“I just think they have enough veteran guys on that team that it’s surprising they would allow that to happen,” Diamondbacks infielder Willie Bloomquist said. “I’ll give credit where credit’s due. They won the division, so congratulations to them. I would expect someone to act with a little more class. I highly doubt the New York Yankees would do something like that.”
“I could call it disrespectful and classless,” Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall said via email, “but they don’t have a beautiful pool at their old park and must have really wanted to see what one was like.”
Bah, humbug. I know there are enough unwritten rules in baseball to fill a tome, but out of all of them, I don’t think there is one that covers playoff berth clinching celebrations in an opposing team’s swimming pool. You can double check me on that, if you want.
Anyway, who are the Diamondbacks to lecture any other organization on class? This is the same club whose owner forced some Dodgers fans who had seats behind home plate to change their clothes. The fans had shelled out $3,500 for their tickets and came decked in Dodger blue, but had to change into Diamondbacks gear in order to keep their seats.
Arizona calling any other club classless? Oh, that is rich.
“I’m sorry they feel that way,” Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw said. “We don’t mean any disrespect towards them. We’re just trying to enjoy our postseason berth. For me, if they were to celebrate at our home field, I feel like they’ve earned that right.”
Look, if you don’t want an opposing team to celebrate in your pool, don’t put a pull in the ballpark. Or if you have a pool, have the ability to cover it or drain it quickly. Or better yet, don’t let your opponent clinch the division title on your home field. That would solve everything.
The Dodgers had every right to let loose after the season they’ve been through.
Remember June 22? At that point in the year, the Dodgers were 30-42, in last place in the division and 9.5 games behind the then first place Diamondbacks. Manager Don Mattingly was reportedly one loss away from losing his job.
Then came the call up of Yasiel Puig. Then came the return of countless players from injury. Then came one of the wildest rides in baseball history.
Los Angeles proceeded to go 58-23 the rest of the season through last night’s division-clinching win. The run including a ridiculous stretch where the team won 42 of 50 games, the hottest a team has ever been over the course of 50 games in all of baseball’s decorated history.
The Dodgers have gone from laughing stock disappointment to World Series favorite in the middle of this season. And the sheer joy from that transformation culminated in last night’s dip in the pool.
It was fun. It was harmless. And no disrespect was intended. But most of all, the celebration was deserved.
The Diamondbacks are being oversensitive in trying to interpret the Dodgers’ cannon balls and corkscrews as some kind of slight directed at them. You had your chance to best L.A. over the 162-game long season, and were unable. Real class calls for putting your own pride aside and letting the Dodgers have their moment.