Let’s break down the basics of ‘Poolgate.’ The Dodgers won the division. The D-backs told them to keep their celebration in locker room after game. The Dodgers did so for awhile, until they got hot and wanted to make cannonballs in the pool. The D-backs and their fans got pissed, and on and on we go.
Who is right and who is wrong? I’m not here to play judge and jury, and frankly like most things in life, this situation isn’t black and white.
It wasn’t a very classy thing to do, especially not by an organization with as much tradition as the Dodgers have. But it shouldn’t be the start of some baseball holy war, either. The Chase Field pool has meaning to the players, the organization and its fans, but let’s be honest, outside of one organic moment it’s only been a cash cow for 16 years. Nothing more and nothing less.
Valley fans have long been criticized for their lack of passion and for only being supportive during the good times, but right now when it comes to ‘Poolgate,’ I think their display of passion is misguided. If fans want to be mad or angry about anything that transpired with the Dodgers, it should be the fact that five D-backs batters — Aaron Hill, Martin Prado, Matt Davidson, Miguel Montero and Paul Goldschmidt — were hit in a 13-inning span without even the slightest hint of retaliation.
You want to talk about being bullied and having the division rubbed in your face? Well, it happened well before Nick Punto and Yasiel Puig held a little pool party on a hot summer afternoon. For all the talk of old-school baseball and grittiness, the D-backs got pushed around in their own park and did nothing to stop it.
Even if retaliation comes during spring training or when the two teams open up the 2014 season down in Australia, will it matter? In my mind, no. It’ll be six or seven months too late. If you’re looking for a moment that sums up the frustration from this season, it’s that one. The Dodgers didn’t just win the NL West Division, they took it without so much as a fight from the D-backs.
Well, at least not until they made themselves feel right at home, that is.