Wins have been beaten to death on Twitter by Brian Kenny of MLB Network. Pitcher wins to be precise. And that’s because they are silly. Silly silly silly. Only once this year do I think that a pitcher legitimately deserved to be handed a win, and that was when Clayton Kershaw both pitched a complete game shutout and drove in the only run in his opening day start. But baseball, like all sports, is about winning. You play to win games. You play to get into the postseason. You play to fly flags.
Yesterday, the Dodgers became the first team this season to clinch their division. Good for them. It’s especially amazing considering that, on June 22, they were 12 games under .500 and nine and a half games behind the Diamondbacks. Since then, they have broken baseball by going 58-27. And, in a twist of irony, they clinched in Arizona. So, what did they do after Skip Schumaker squeezed the final out of a 7-6 victory? Well, they didn’t break out acoustic guitars and sing Cumbaya, that’s for certain. Let’s let the video take it from here.
Seems pretty normal. I don’t know when the whole “ripping of the jerseys” thing became a fad, but, to each their own, I suppose. But they didn’t stop there. Yasiel Puig decided to show off some of his moves later on.
Hey, Puig. Can you show me how to “Dougie?”
The Dodgers then rubbed the Diamondbacks raw when they came back out onto the field later however. First, the video.
This, apparently, broke a rule.
“I just think they have enough guys on that team that it’s surprising they would allow that to happen,” Diamondbacks infielder Willie Bloomquist said. “I’ll give credit where credit’s due. They won the division, so congratulations to them. I would expect someone to act with a little more class. I highly doubt the New York Yankees would do something like that.”
“I could call it disrespectful and classless,” Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall said via email, “but they don’t have a beautiful pool at their old park and must have really wanted to see what one was like.”
Adam Eaton tweeted this:
This game knows no names. What goes around comes around. #FinishStrong
— Adam Eaton (@AdamSpankyEaton) September 20, 2013
Apparently, Willie Bloomquist has never seen another team celebrate that is not named the Yankees. And Derrick Hall thinks that “old” means “ugly.” But, Clayton Kershaw had his own words (via USA Today) for the two men who were miffed by the celebration:
“I’m sorry they feel that way,” Kershaw said. “We don’t mean any disrespect towards them. We’re just trying to enjoy our postseason berth. For me, if they were to celebrate at our home field, I feel like they’ve earned that right.”
It all boils down to this: If you don’t want to see another team celebrating on your field, don’t let them clinch, on your field. Especially when you have a little bit of history this season with said team. And to the Diamondbacks credit, they did everything they could to ensure that the Dodgers would not be celebrating in their ballpark with the beautiful pool.
But the Dodgers were better last night. And since mid-June, they have been better than any other team in baseball. They earned their win last night. They earned their Division Championship. They earned the right to act like fools and be childish for a few hours.
So, to the Dodgers: Congratulations on clinching. To the Diamondbacks: Get over it. It’s not because you have a pool at your ballpark. It’s because the Dodgers are the 2013 NL West champs and you will be watching baseball instead of playing it in October.