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ESPN MLB analyst Tim Kurkjian: ‘Poolgate’ reflective of societal issue

LISTEN: Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB Analyst

It’s been exactly a week since the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated their 2013 National League West Division title with a little dip in the Chase Field pool, and still the story won’t seem to die.

Thursday, Tim Kurkjian was asked his thoughts on ‘Poolgate,’ and ESPN’s senior baseball writer chose to point the finger at a party not named the Arizona Diamondbacks or Los Angeles Dodgers.

“If I were a player — and obviously I’m not — but I would have never done that,” Kurkjian told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo. “And if I were the manager, I would have advised those players, ‘Don’t do that. It’s not necessary.’

“Was I completely offended by it? No and here’s why. We have taught the players to be like this. ESPN has taught them to be like this by showing all of the knucklehead things that the players do. They think it’s okay to do this now. Yasiel Puig doesn’t know any better and that’s a real problem.”

While Kurkjian initially called out his own industry, he added that the issue of promoting unprofessional behavior goes even deeper than sports media.

“It’s a societal thing that we’ve allowed our young people to do whatever the heck they want,” said Kurkjian.

“But some of the veteran guys should have advised and said, ‘Let’s celebrate in here. Let’s not touch anything that belongs to the Diamondbacks. Whether you like a pool or not, that’s the Diamondbacks’ property.'”

Of course, no such advisement took place, and the story as well as the subsequent headlines will likely carry into 2014, when the D-backs and Dodgers kick off the Major League Baseball season down in Australia.