Highlander Showdown: Should the Dodgers have jumped in the pool?

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The Dodgers can’t afford to act like thugs

By: Michael Rios

 

“No-class act by a bunch of overpaid, immature, arrogant, spoiled brats!” fumed Senator John McCain about the Los Angeles Dodgers after the Blue Crew jumped into the pool of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ home field following a playoff-clinching win.

Those were some pretty harsh words, but you know something? The senator’s right.

It was pretty classless, especially considering that the D-Backs specifically asked the Dodgers not to celebrate on the field. The Dodgers surely didn’t comply and essentially gave Arizona a metaphorical middle finger in their own home.

Granted, some might argue that if Arizona really wanted to prevent a celebration, they never should have let the Dodgers walk away with a win in their own field. Admittedly, that argument does hold water. After all, a celebration is indeed expected after clinching a playoff spot. But this went beyond a celebration; this was an outright insult. Simply high-fiving one another or giving each other an “attaboy” would have sufficed. But they just couldn’t resist.

After the game, an unapologetic Andre Ethier attempted to explain his actions, stating, “You get caught up in the moment. You do dumb things.”

He’s right. It was dumb. And the dumber part was attempting to defend his actions in such a childish way. He was essentially saying that it was all fun and games.

Honestly, that’s an excuse a five-year-old uses after getting caught playing with scissors. These are grown-ass men. There’s no reason not to act like like that. It’s not like they’re uncontrollable five-year-olds who go as far as urinating in other peoples’ pools just for irresponsible fun. Although …

Reports broke out last week that the Dodgers may have actually done just that. Longtime Dodgers reporter and former writer for ESPN Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Daily News reported that one of the Dodgers “openly and loudly bragged after leaving the pool about having urinated in it.”

Unreal.

Whether or not you believe that part of the story, the point remains: The Dodgers clearly have no respect for anyone in the league other than themselves. And this franchise has a track record of being uncivilized, asinine and disrespectful. Arrests, fan brawls and now pool-peeing are just some of the words that immediately come to mind when thinking of this always-brag-but-never-win-anything sports club. And what’s worse is that the Dodgers are just adding to their already-tarnished reputation.

 Just a few months ago, Dodgers’ superstar Yasiel Puig was arrested in Tennessee for “reckless driving, speeding and driving without proof of insurance.” A few weeks before that, Justin Sellers was booked in West Sacramento for driving recklessly and avoiding police. That’s not exactly the best way to represent such a high-profile club.

And they don’t really seem to want to fix their ways. Seriously, if this is how reckless they get after clinching a silly playoff spot, I don’t want to see what other immature and crude acts they’ll perform if they go far in the playoffs.

So here’s some advice for the Dodgers: If you win, act like winners. Act classy and celebrate all of the hard work that you put into the season. Make it a moment of personal triumph and not a moment of unnecessary showboating. Seriously, there’s no need to make the losing team feel even worse about the loss. A little humility goes a long way. Give baseball fans of all ages a reason to be happy for you. It sure wouldn’t hurt your current image.

At the moment I can’t think of less deserving team than Los Angeles to win the World Series. But if they do, here’s hoping they actually behave like winners.

 

Dodgers jumping in pool is non-issue

By: Jake Rich

From an outsider’s perspective, large celebrations are one of the most easily mockable things in professional sports. A bunch of grown men — some closer to 40 than 20 — jump and tackle each other while dousing each other with champagne. This spontaneity is some of what makes sports great. After a long and grueling season, often with all sorts of ups and downs, the team has finally achieved success and gets to celebrate like the end of the world. In light of this joyous moment of having fun, it is not unreasonable for the Los Angeles Dodgers to celebrate making the playoffs by jumping in rival Arizona Diamondbacks’ swimming pool just beyond the outfield wall at Chase Field in Phoenix.

The situation first became precarious when it was announced that the Diamondbacks, who had anticipated the Dodgers clinching the National League West division title on their field, asked the Dodgers to not return to the field after going to the clubhouse for celebration. First off, if you don’t want somebody clinching the division on your home turf, there’s one thing you should think about doing first — beating them so that doesn’t happen. Problem solved there.

If the Diamondbacks had not said anything at all, it’s likely the Dodgers would have celebrated in normal fashion — a short dogpile on the field, before returning to the clubhouse for a suds-filled mini-party. In the competitive nature of sports, however, the Dodgers decided to not listen and have a little fun, while adding to the rivalry. It is really the nature of sports that justifies their actions. Was it not the Diamondbacks themselves who used the pool to celebrate their division title a few years ago?

Sure, it’s their pool, but the question that has to be asked when examining this ridiculous situation is this: How much harm did the Dodgers truly cause? It was a little disrespectful to completely defy the Diamondbacks’ request, but it’s not like they truly hurt anything. The stadium was nearly empty, so there was no fan risk, and a pool located inside a baseball stadium in the first place couldn’t possibly get much dirtier from baseball players themselves jumping in it. All home teams allow visiting teams to celebrate by spraying champagne all over their clubhouse, so getting a pool dirty was much worse than spraying sticky liquids all over the carpet and walls of a luxurious clubhouse. And to those angry that certain Dodgers players claim to have loudly bragged about peeing in the pool — once again, it’s a public pool in a baseball stadium — much worse has probably been in there.

Now, it’s not like the Dodgers can’t expect retribution for this — it may deserve a couple inside pitches or hit batters — general manager Kevin Towers said, “We won’t forget it.” It may have been over the line slightly, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly summed up the situation when he said, “If we won it (in San Diego) would the Padres be mad if we jumped the fence and made sand castles?” The fact that Senator John McCain felt the need to tweet about it shows how some people — including the D-Backs — took this too seriously.

The spontaneity of the Dodgers’ eager celebration caused little to no harm to anybody (other than a little dirt in their swimming pool) and should not be an issue. Part of the greatness of professional sports is seeing great athletes compete at the highest level, as well as getting to jump around like a little kid in hard-earned celebration after a mentally (for fans as well) and physically draining season. To see the earnestness and joy in the eyes of grown men helps spectators know that there can be joy in life in the simplest things, and doing something crazy and in the moment — like jumping in the pool of an opponent’s stadium — deserves nothing more than a “tsk, tsk.”

 

 

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