There’s a faction of people who believe that the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pool party at Chase Field Thursday afternoon was perfectly acceptable.
After all, the Dodgers’ historic 42-8 run in June, July and August catapulted them from a last place team that was on the brink of firing their manager to becoming the first MLB team to clinch their division in 2013. You earned it, Dodgers. Cannonball?!
To the people who think this celebration was warranted: Remind me never to invite any of you to my house for a party, because undoubtedly you’d eat all my food, steal all the beer and leave drippings on the toilet seat.
When Aaron Hill lifted a fly ball that was caught by left fielder Skip Schumaker to end the ballgame, the celebration began. The Dodgers danced on the pitcher’s mound — an acceptable reaction 153 games in the making. And to clinch on the road against the Diamondbacks, a team that had more than one dust-up with the Dodgers this year, had to make the champagne just a little bit sweeter.
But it wasn’t enough. The Dodgers returned to the field, scaled the right-center field fence and splashed around in the pool like a group of nine-year-olds chicken fighting at a birthday party.
Sorry, but that crossed the line.
The Diamondbacks are being painted as a petty organization that asked the Dodgers not to celebrate on the field. That’s not exactly true. Celebrating on the field as a road team is a tradition as old as baseball itself. The D-backs had requested that once the Dodgers left the field and continued their celebration in the clubhouse that they not come back, citing security issues for fans and player.
I can’t remember a time off the top of my head when a celebrating road team returned to the playing field after beginning their party in the clubhouse, so maybe the Diamondbacks erred in even making the request to the Dodgers. And maybe it was enough to spur the “impromptu” dip.
But could you imagine the uproar if the roles were reversed? What if the D-backs clinched the division against the Dodgers, went to the clubhouse and then came back out and arrogantly danced on top of the Dodgers’ dugout. Yeah, the boys in blue and their fans would be upset with good reason.
What if the Boston Red Sox clinched the AL East at Yankee Stadium and then paraded out to Monument Park to splash the plaques of Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth with a little bubbly? There would be riots in the Bronx, and Boston would need a police escort to get out of town.
It’s called sportsmanship, kids. It’s called class. It’s called decorum. It was all absent.
A historic comeback and clinching a division gives you the right to hoot and holler and to pour alcoholic beverages over the heads of your teammates. It gives you the right to become one of ten teams to continue the quest for a World Series title.
It doesn’t give you the right to act like a group of tactless jackasses in the stadium of a rival.