Ethics Dunces: The Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the National League West regular season championship last night by beating their divisional rivals, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Traditionally, when such moments occur away from the winner’s home park, they are celebrated with a happy mob scene around the pitcher’s mound and then a retreat to the clubhouse, where campaign and revelry reign.

But not in the case of the 2013 Dodgers. Seeing the inviting swimming pool that is a unique center field feature of Chase Field, the giddy Dodger team jumped the fence and splashed into the pool to celebrate. The Arizona Republic, in an editorial today, accurately expressed the reaction of the Diamondback fans and community:

“In the interests of good sportsmanship, here’s to the 2013 National League West Division champs.Congratulations are in order. Even to a bunch as classless as the Los Angeles Dodgers, the first players not wearing Diamondbacks uniforms to celebrate a championship by diving into the Chase Field pool. Informally, the Arizona Diamondbacks management had asked their Dodgers counterparts, should their lads clinch the division at Chase Field, to kindly celebrate in the clubhouse until the fans cleared out. For safety’s sake. Well, the Diamondbacks got their answer. Effectively: We got some “safety,” for you. Right here….”

The LA Times was quick to rush to its team’s defense, with sportswriter Steve Dilbeck snidely responding,

“Listen, the Dodgers earned the right to celebrate. Win and you party. Wherever you are. They climbed the outfield wall, jumped in the pool and acted like a bunch of 12-year-olds. I thought it was great. Is that pool some kind of hallowed Diamondbacks ground — or water? If the Diamondbacks are really going to get their panties in a bunch over this, then I have two suggestions: 1) Don’t build a pool in your ballpark, and 2) don’t let the other team clinch on your field.”

Translation: “Nyah, nyah, nyah! Stuff it, losers!”

When did sportsmanship go out of style in LA? How about the Golden Rule? I’ve been in a ball park watching my team walk off the field defeated as the enemy rejoices. There are worse feelings, but not many.  Why would any athletes try to prolong the agony of thousands of baseball fans and a whole community, when it is so unnecessary, with an unrestrained and private celebration just a short walk away? Well, because they are unmannered, self-centered, rude and yes, classless boors, that’s why. A brief on-field celebration is natural and unavoidable, but a visiting team appropriating a feature of the host park for an “in-your-face, Arizona!” splash-fest is a breach of etiquette, sportsmanship, and just plain wrong.

Dilbeck’s solution? The Diamondbacks can be rude to L.A. if they ever clinch a title in Dodger Stadium—you know, Tit-for-Tat. An eye for an eye. Revenge.

That’s Los Angeles ethics, I guess.

It explains a lot.

Sources: Arizona Republic, USA TodayLA Times


17 thoughts on “Ethics Dunces: The Los Angeles Dodgers

  1. Translation: “Nyah, nyah, nyah! Stuff it, losers!”
    Same thing The Simpleton in The White House said when he trotted out Liar Extraordinaire Susan Rice for the second time.

    Don’t be surprised when Americans of a lesser intellect start acting like their leaders.

  2. Wasn’t there a big brawl between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks in L.A. earlier this season? I am not defending the Dodgers’ celebrations in the pool, just speculating that maybe some bad blood is still pumping.

  3. It would be kinda funny if, say, next year, the Diamondbacks swept a series at Chavez Ravine, then immediately after the last out, congregated in center field, bringing their own buckets of water and inflated pool, and jumped in and splashed about. Or, if they just brought their own hose to hook up to the groundskeepers’ spigots, and turned the infield into a mud-sliding fest, like in the movie Bull Durham.

    Nah. They’d get fined and suspended for causing a postponement of the Dodgers’ next home game. So, the Snakes would have to strike at the very end of the homestand. I’ll be watching the 2014 Dodgers home schedule VERY closely…

  4. OT: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (HBO) had a segment on the NFL settlement with ex NFL players. Very touching piece because he puts a face on those players who are terminal with ALS. One is bedridden and paralyzed, one is degrading rapidly and has initial signs of ALS.

  5. The Dodgers (of whom I am not a fan) didn’t get the last out and run from the field and jump in the pool. They had time to get into the clubhouse, change into their street clothes, return to the field, run to the outfield and jump in the pool. They didn’t do it in front of the fans or the D’backs team. This wasn’t taunting. Hard to see it as an ethics violation and trying to draw a parallel to the national political situation or Kobe Bryant (really?) suggests a desperate need to turn everything back to one’s personal bête noir.

    • “…trying to draw a parallel to the national political situation or Kobe Bryant (really?) suggests a desperate need to turn everything back to one’s personal bête noir.”

      Good point, and you get extra credit for bête noir.

      But returning to the field makes the act ethically worse, not better. Once the visiting team has retreated to the clubhouse, it has no reason or justification to commandeer the hosting venue, for a swim or anything else. And taunting doesn’t have to be in-person taunting—the video was going to be outh there, and the Dodgers a) should have known that and b) should have known it would tick people off.

      How much of this was payback for the earlier nastiness between the team? My guess: quite a bit.

  6. Not really a Dodgers fan. Considering the crap that has happened in the cheap seats and in the parking lot I would never go there. Too many gang members and drunks. That being said, I think the Arizona Republic got a little huffy over some harmless fun.

  7. Arizona is just some punk burg to most baseball fans. What would be the reaction among the baseball cogniscenti if the Red Sox (and their awful beards) clinched in Yankee Stadium and started spraying champagne on the monuments? Sure, a swimming pool ain’t the monuments, but still, because it’s not a hollowed baseball town, and the Dodgers are hallowed, it’s not that big a deal. Besides, it happened on the West Coast in a remote time zone. Who cares? The Dodgers are winners and that’s all that matters.

    But seriously, in a sport with all sorts of unwritten rules, particularly about not showing someone else up because it’s such a difficult game, this was clearly bush league behavior. How many Dodgers are going to get plunked in the next Dbacks v. Dodgers game if the baseball retribution rules are to be applied? The entire Dbacks staff and every coach will have to be ejected.

    And yes, I’ve lived in Phoenix since 1981 and I’m a Diamondbacks fan.

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