Walter Mencken 9 a.m., May 23
Padres take series at Pittsburgh
The Padres come home to face the Dodgers after Los Angeles clinches the division
The Padres left Pittsburgh without a series sweep but taking three of four from the Pirates is quite an accomplishment on the road. In fact, the road trip itself was successful, with the Friars tallying a 6-4 record, including 5-2 against teams that are playoffs-bound.
And now, the club comes home to face the National League Western Division Champions Los Angeles Dodgers, who clinched Thursday in Arizona. Much to the relief of Padres fans, the Dodgers won’t be celebrating at Petco Park, that already happened at Chase Field, and apparently there’s some controversy surrounding it.
After the Padres had been thrashed by the Pirates 10-1, Padres fans turned toward Arizona hoping that the Dodgers would clench the division there rather than have to face the prospect of seeing their rivals go nuts in the House that Gwynn Built. The faithful that followed the 7-6 win by Los Angeles weren’t disappointed, but Diamondbacks fans were outraged.
Much of the blame goes on the Diamondbacks and the organization. Should the Snakes win, then it would have been the Padres who would have had to endure the celebration, but worse, the Diamondbacks actually requested that the Dodgers not celebrate on the field.
This was a ludicrous request. There are 162 games in Major League Baseball, which is such a grind that once a team clenches their division, steam is let off. This is very traditional behavior, regardless of which field a team clenches.
So, instead of celebrating on the field, the Dodgers celebrated in the club house and after the crowd filed out, several players ran out onto the field and kept going until they jumped the fence in center field and frolicked in the pool at Chase Field. Yes, there is a pool at Chase Field.
Now, if your ball park has a pool in center field, you are just asking for this sort of thing to happen. Especially after you egregiously request that the opposition refrains from celebrating on the field directly after clinching the division, as all teams are prone to do.
Diamondbacks fans are upset, as one might expect, since there is video of the celebration all over the internet. And while the Dodgers players that participated in this sort of shameless behavior deserve no defense of it, perhaps the folks in Arizona should contact the Diamondbacks front office and ask what sort of decision making goes into requesting no post-game celebration on the field of play.
Bottom line for Padres fans, it isn’t likely that any Dodgers will run out to right field this weekend, dive over the wall into the Jack Deck, and guzzle whiskey while high-fiving each other. At least, let’s hope not.
The National League West champs are in town for three games to kick off the last home stand of the season. Friday, it’s Hispanic Heritage Night which naturally means that the first 25,000 fans through the turnstiles get a free Padres BBQ Set. If you can find the connection there, please pass it along. Former Padres starter Edinson Volquez (0-1, 5.40 with Los Angeles) will go for the Dodgers and face Padres starter Robbie Erlin (2-3, 5.18). Game time is slated for 7:10 PM PDST and if you can’t make it out for the game (there will be fireworks afterward) then you can listen on radio 1090 AM or watch on Fox Sports San Diego.
More like this:
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