So a bunch of guys are happy because they just won a big victory, and so they are celebrating with champagne and beer and screaming and shouting and jumping around, and so eventually they get bored with that and decide to look for some different way to celebrate, and then it occurs to one of them that there is a swimming pool outside, and so, with all of their adult-beverage-soaked clothing still on, a bunch of them run out there, leap over a wall and jump headlong into that swimming pool, apparently having given no thought to the fact that by jumping into that pool — a pool that any number of people swim in on any given night because it routinely is rented out to whatever group has the money to pay for it — they were somehow defiling some kind of sacred ground or breaching some kind of sacred barrier.
And now, everybody in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, their fans, members of the Phoenix media and even a U.S. Senator whose party once nominated him for President of the United States have decided that this collective plunge into the sanctity of their chlorinated temple constitutes one of the most heinous acts ever perpetrated on their beloved baseball team and its rich, storied history that dates all the way back to 1998.
Take yourselves a little seriously, don’t you?
This whole business appears to have started when a Diamondbacks outfielder named Willie Bloomquist decided to state through the media that the fact eight or so of the newly crowned National League West champion Dodgers jumped into his team’s swimming pool after clinching that title in the gigantic airplane hangar that his team calls home was “disrespectful and classless.”
This in turn led to Derrick Hall, the Diamondbacks president and CEO who used to be a high-ranking official with the Dodgers, implying that the Dodgers, who play in one of baseball’s crown-jewel ballparks, must be jealous of the fact that the gigantic airplane hangar has a swimming pool.
If you read this blog regularly, you saw those two comments here yesterday.
And then today, a columnist for the Arizona Republic, the same guy who called out Yasiel Puig earlier this year because he didn’t bow down and kiss the feet of Diamondbacks legend Luis Gonzalez, decided to put out there for public consumption his opinion that the Dodgers are “idiots.”
For jumping into a swimming pool.
And this, in turn, led to United States Senator and famous Phoenician John McCain, R-Ariz., a guy who somehow keeps getting elected despite the fact neither the Democrats nor the Republicans seem to agree with him on much of anything, deciding to tweet a link to this columnist’s column, adding his own words in the process.
“No-class act by a bunch of overpaid, immature, arrogant, spoiled brats!” tweeteth the senator (with an exclamation mark no less!), apparently implying that the Diamondbacks are nothing of the sort.
I complain all the time about ballplayers always seeming to be on the lookout for any kind of slight, vague or obvious, real or imagined, even the smallest hint of being disrespected by an opponent. They constantly have their guard up, ready to enforce baseball’s unwritten rules and ready to pounce on any violation of said rules, even though most players couldn’t even begin to recite all those rules for you. They don’t know what the rules are, but you better believe they know when one of them has been broken.
But that doesn’t appear to be what is going on here. Sure, it looks like it was Bloomquist who lit the match on all of this, but it was the media — and, consequently, the Diamondbacks fans — who turned it into a raging wildfire. In reality, though, it isn’t a fire at all. It’s just a whole lot of smoke. And sound and fury. Signifiying nothing.
I’ll give the final word on this subject — and yes, as far as this blog is concerned, these WILL be the final words on the subject — to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly:
“The only thing I don’t want … I don’t want it to take away from what these guys accomplished. They played good baseball and they really played hard, and I don’t want that to be overshadowed. It seems like this has gone a little too far for me. That celebration, for me, that was a celebration of a long year, starting in spring training, a lot of games, and it’s like little kids, it’s like Little League when these guys win. It’s exciting, and (the pool thing) was spontaneous. It wasn’t done to embarrass or to disrespect anybody.”
And besides, if the Diamondbacks don’t like what the Dodgers did, they can just go jump in a … oh, never mind.