Last year, when the Dodgers clinched the NL West at Chase Field in Arizona, they had a pool party. It led to all kinds of grumbling and hand-wringing because one clearly does not disrespect an august and distinguished baseball icon like “the Ramtrucks.com Pool” in an indoor ballpark where fans get overcharged for likely marginally acceptable margaritas and bad sightlines.
But a controversy it caused, probably because it was the Dodgers and partially because Yasiel Puig played a part in it and no one ever passes up a chance to call them and him classless.
Yesterday, the Cardinals clinched the NL Central in Arizona. They celebrated. The did not, however, celebrate in the pool. No, they made a point not to:
The Chase Field swimming pool was off limits.
The Cardinals decided they could do without a quick dip, the way many of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated when they won the NL West here last season. The D-backs were not big fans of their division rivals’ little pool party.
It was all about respect.
“We made sure we weren’t going in the pool,” said scheduled starter Adam Wainwright, who was a last-minute scratch after the Pirates were eliminated.
“We were staying over here (in the clubhouse). Especially with Tony La Russa at the helm over there now. That’s our former skipper. We don’t want to make him mad or disrespect him in any way.”
Fair enough. And really, doing a pool party would be derivative anyway. Say what you want about the Dodgers last year, but that was fun because it was spontaneous. If the Cards had done it it wouldn’t have been the same.
That said: the Dodgers and Cardinals will meet in the NLDS. What are the odds that someone — probably a Cardinals writer, but a broadcaster could too — makes a point to talk about how much more classy and professional the Cardinals are than the Dodgers because they didn’t jump in the pool. I mean, they do that kind of thing all the time anyway, it’s just now they have more toys to play with as they pursue that particular hobby.