I get it, Arizona. You’re upset because the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the National League West title in your yard. But it’s time to stop the faux outrage over the Dodgers celebrating in your vaunted swimming pool.
I’m not generalizing all of Arizona or all Arizona Diamondbacks’ fans. I’m writing about the suddenly vocal newspaper reporters who are throwing around phrases like “bush league” and “idiots” in referring to the Dodgers’ celebration.
Columnists are supposed to elicit reaction from their readers, but it’s easy to tell when it’s forced and “just for show.”
Arizona Republic columnist Paola Boivin had this gem last night.
“The Dodgers deserved to celebrate after their National League-clinching victory over the Diamondbacks. They have had a fine season, highlighted by big paychecks but also gritty pitching and clutch hitting.”
Never have I heard the term “gritty” used to describe pitching. It’s usually a code word used to describe players who are generally small and lacking talent. When I think Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, the first word that comes to mind is ‘gritty.” (Not really)
“But whatever happened to decorum? You high five, you hug, you run and dive on the star player. You don’t go to the area that is unique to the visitor’s ballpark and treat it like its your own private spa.”
Huh? The Diamondbacks have a swimming pool in a baseball stadium. Sure, it’s unique, but why does that make it “off-limits”? And yes, I left in the “its” instead of editing it to “it’s.”
It’s a short column designed to grab pageviews, as it did from myself (hat tip to Mark Kaminsky on Twitter).
If that wasn’t “gemmy” enough, here’s one from resident liar at the Arizona Republic Dan Bickley.
“Not to paint with broad strikes, but the Dodgers are idiots.”
That’s his lede. Gripping, hard-hitting and totally contradictory.
“Yasiel Puig thought it OK to blow off a Diamondbacks legend in his own ballpark, and everyone in Dodger Blue covered for him.”
No. This is a flat-out lie. Bickley is referring to thealleged disrespect Puig showed to Luis Gonzalez earlier this season. Mike Petriello pointed out that Bickley was the one who originally perpetuated the lie, so it makes sense he’s sticking by it, even if it’s completely false. But don't let facts get in the way of a non-story.
“Said it before: I really wish Randy Johnson would un-retire and sign a one-game contract for 2014.”
Why’s that, Dan? To do something classy?
“When the Diamondbacks clinched the division in 2011, their post-game pool party was an organic masterpiece. The moment became part of the mythology of Chase Field, where the pool became much more than a sponsorship gimmick and showcase for high-dollar fans.”
Huh? First, the “mythology of Chase Field…”? You mean a mythology that’s been built for many, many decades -- nearly two of them at Chase Field, or Bank One Ballpark. “Organic masterpiece” -- I’ll just leave that one where it lies.
“Surely, the Dodgers were aware of the breach of etiquette. If they weren’t, it’s an even worse commentary on their lack of awareness, on their lack of respect for baseball history.”
This is where things are obviously forced. The Diamondbacks asked the Dodgers to not celebrate on the field. That has nothing to do with etiquette and everything to do with, well, I don’t exactly know what. Shame? Jealousy? Anger? Sadness? And don’t call me Surely.
To which “baseball history,” are you referring, Danny Boy? The 2-year history since the Diamondbacks jumped in the pool themselves? Your BASEBALL team has a SWIMMING POOL in its BASEBALL STADIUM. That’s where the real problem lies.
Emma Span of Sports on Earth wrote a great, unbiased piece on the pool party.
“All year, Arizona has been leading the charge against the dangerous practice of baseball players visibly enjoying themselves at the Diamondbacks’ expense. It actually started even before the season, in the World Baseball Classic, when the Dominican Republic team cut loose to an extent never seen in MLB games, to the delight of some and the disapproval of others.”
This was probably my favorite graf from the story. But it’s well worth reading the entire piece.
So, Arizona sportswriters, just give it up. Quit mocking up over-the-top, angry responses to the Dodgers celebrating a division title in your sacred swimming pool. Next time, hope your team wins more games. Better yet, maybe the Dodgers can win more games and just clinch in the truly sacred grounds of Dodger Stadium.