The Diamondbacks 2013 team was built on the basis of “grit.” That was the proffered reason for the decision to trade Justin Upton to the Braves for a package led by Martin Prado. They put a club together with a roster full of gamers who were meant to battle to the end of the season. Because they’ve had injuries, a shaky offense and a mediocre pitching staff, they’re hovering around .500 and had to endure the indignity of watching the Dodgers not only celebrate clinching the National League West on their field, but endured the Dodgers jumping into the pool in right-center field at Chase Field.
Perhaps a better argument for the Dodgers not jumping into the pool would have had its foundation in the “grit” theme. The Diamondbacks could have said that the pool is gritty and they shouldn’t jump into it for fear of dealing with germs and possible illness from using it. Otherwise, the Diamondbacks, Senator John McCain and anyone else who has a problem with the Dodgers celebration needs to grow up and pipe down.
If the Diamondbacks had played better, then there wouldn’t be this issue. If there wasn’t a pool in the outfield – and why is there a pool in the outfield? – the Dodgers wouldn’t have had the option of jumping in to celebrate.
This concept of “invading territory” and “overstepping bounds” misses the entire point so completely that it’s possible that the Diamondbacks are trying to use this as a distraction from their own disappointing season with a club that was specifically built to be where the Dodgers currently are. The Diamondbacks had success with the perception of being disrespected in 2007 when the Padres pitched Jake Peavy on short rest in September of that season because there was the implication that he could simply throw his glove on the mound and beat them. They battered Peavy and, led by the rage of fiery team leader Eric Byrnes, eventually won the NL West while the Padres got bounced in a one-game playoff loss to the Rockies.
The strategy argument would be far more palatable than the “we’re just a bunch of whiny babies” argument that is clear from their over-the-top reaction to something so silly.
If the Diamondbacks players themselves were offended by the Dodgers celebration, then they may need to concern themselves with something more important like not being so inconsistent that they’re an also-ran team with nothing to talk about other than a perceived slight.
The two teams have a history stemming from a bench clearing fight in June. In fact, the Dodgers turnaround of their terrible season almost directly coincided with the fight. Perhaps it gave a team of mercenaries and highly-paid veterans a motivation to band together as a group. If that’s the case, the Diamondbacks – who were in first place at the time – have even more to be upset about.
The Diamondbacks need to stop worrying about this nonsense and decide what’s more important: winning or whining. Right now, whining is all they have left and they’re exercising their right to use it, oblivious to how much they’re embarrassing themselves in the process.