By now we’ve all heard of “Pool-gate.” Thursday the Dodgers clinched the National League West at Arizona’s Chase Field. The Diamondbacks asked the Dodgers not to celebrate in the pool behind the outfield wall should they clinch. The Dodgers did it anyways. Some Diamondbacks’ players were pissed.
And now Arizona residents, columnists and, yes, even United States Senators are upset that the Dodgers had the audacity to ruin the sanctity of the Chase Field pool.
AZ Central columnist Dan Bickley didn’t mince words, calling the Dodgers players “idiots.” He runs down all their offenses, such as Yasiel Puig blowing off Diamondbacks legend Luis Gonzalez earlier in the year. Jumping into the Chase Field pool to party is a bridge too far!
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.
For Diamondbacks players, it became the reward at the end of the journey. Almost like the Pacific Ocean for Lewis and Clark.
One would hope Bickley’s tongue was firmly in cheek when he wrote the “organic masterpiece” line. Or the Lewis and Clark comparison. Perhaps he’s going the Skip Bayless route and straight up trolling. (I honestly don’t like line-by-line takedowns of columnists, but this is begging for it.)
When you think of sports traditions, the Diamondback’s postseason pool party is right at the top of the list. So yes, the Dodgers partying in the Chase Field pool is a crime on par with the Michigan marching band performing “Script Ohio” at the Big House or the Lakers installing a parquet court at the Staples Center.
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.
He had to write that to elicit responses like this, right? Surely when you think baseball history your mind immediately goes: Ruth … Aaron … Shot Heard ‘Round the World … Chase Field swimming pool. Bickley suggests said pools needs to be cleaned out by Bill Murray’s Carl Spackler character — lending credence he’s having a laugh with this silly incident. He did get Arizona Senator John McCain (or whomever runs his Twitter account) to link to the story, so mission accomplished on that front.
Whether or not Bickley was dead serious with his column, there were indeed Diamondbacks players like Willie Bloomquist who were ticked off by the Dodgers actions, dropping the usual “unprofessional” claims.
Brandon McCarthy, a current Diamondbacks player mind, had this sensible thing to say of Pool-gate:
Celebrating is fun. I don't care how and where you do it. Only thing to care about is what we need to do to celebrate in our pool next year.—
Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) September 19, 2013
Amen to that.
And if the Diamondbacks were so deeply concerned about the pool there was an easy way to prevent the Dodgers from partying in it: win the game.