The Los Angeles Dodgers pool party celebration at Chase Field on Thursday that followed their National League West division-clinching victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks has been one of the most talked about sports story in recent days, but the conversation about how to celebrate on the road was at least confined to sports figures until one notable public official decided to speak his mind with an inflammatory and hypocritical opinion.
On Friday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., posted on Twitter: “No-class act by a bunch of overpaid, immature, arrogant, spoiled brats! "The #Dodgers are idiots".
It’s unclear if McCain knew that the Dodger players moved the party from the visitors’ locker room when the stadium was basically empty, or if he is even aware that every other Major League Baseball stadium refrained from building a swimming pool in their bleacher section.
It does seem sophomoric and tacky for the Dodgers to extend their celebration beyond the right-center field wall, but isn’t it tacky to have such a gimmick in a ballpark in the first place? It’s a baseball stadium, not a water park. If the Diamondbacks were truly interested in maintaining the sanctity of their sacred grounds they wouldn’t have a pool in the first place. Perhaps the park could be spruced up if they added a Jacuzzi outside the bullpen, or a Slip ‘N Slide along the first-base line. Now there’s class.
It’s common for elected officials to engage in sports discussions, but McCain should have better things to do than throw cranky barbs at the Dodgers. It was a particularly harsh reaction about a silly incident, and from a man who didn’t have the decency to refrain from online poker gambling on his iPhone during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on a military strike against Syria.
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Poker and baseball celebration etiquette are apparently high on McCain’s priority list. Wars in the Middle East? Not so much.
The Dodgers are arrogant and immature, but singing “Bomb Iran” in 2007 to the Beach Boys famous cover of “Barbara Ann” is the act of a humble and cultivated individual who represents 6.5 million constituents as a U.S. Senator since 1987.
McCain roared back at his critics by telling them to “get a life” for accusing him of insensitivity for a song parody about killing innocent civilians after his country did so to their neighbors just four years earlier. To McCain, though, pool crashing by a bunch of athletes in their 20s makes them idiots and arrogant. McCain also isn’t exactly the poster boy for responsibility and sound judgment after selecting Sarah Palin, a vice-presidential candidate with a nickel’s worth of international political understanding, to be a 72-year-old’s heartbeat away from commander in chief in his failed presidential bid in 2008.
It does perhaps make him an expert on immaturity and spoiled brats after his own camp called the Alaska moose hunter a “diva.”
Perhaps the iPhone incident and the Twitter reaction was McCain’s foolish way of getting the word out that he is no longer “technology illiterate” as he admitted in 2008. It could have also been his failed effort to reach out to younger voters by calling out young guys to break up the fun. Nothing says “cantankerous, grumpy old man” like a 77-year-old Arizona resident with a net worth over $10 million telling a bunch of young guys to stop horsing around and breaking unwritten rules.
It is also certainly possible McCain was just standing up for one of his campaign contributors. Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall, who was among the first to chastise the Dodgers for their antics, contributed $2,400 to “Friends of John McCain” in May 2010, according to campaignmoney.com.
Hall, who is in his mid-40s, may have lambasted the Dodgers with the same type of maturity that McCain hopes sports figures would exhibit. "I could call it disrespectful and classless but they don't have a beautiful pool at their old park and must have really wanted to see what one was like," Hall wrote in an email.
No sour grapes there, especially considering Dodger Stadium is considered one of baseball’s most beloved cathedrals and constructing a pool in the right-field pavilion would be greeted with widespread scorn from dedicated purists. Hall may not have much use for old things like the 51-year-old home to one of baseball’s most iconic clubs, which may rankle McCain, who was 26 when the stadium was erected.
Just under 26 years is also the age of one Clayton Kershaw. Check out how the Dodgers ace pitcher and former Cy Young award winner retorted to Hall and Diamondbacks infielder Willie Bloomquist’s criticism:
"I'm sorry they feel that way," Kershaw said, according to USA Today. "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."
What a no-class act, overpaid, immature, arrogant, spoiled-brat idiot that Kershaw is! Why can’t he display the same type of temperament of more likeable and respectable figures like a U.S. Congressman? (Congress, by the way, has a 20 percent approval rating.)
Admittedly, while Kershaw took the high road, eccentric reliever Brian Wilson decided to lash back at McCain on Twitter when he posted: “Senator McComplain knows a thing or two about coming in second and watching someone take a plunge in the pool (I mean poll) #POoLITICS”.
The bearded Wilson should not be confused with Brian Wilson the chief songwriter of the Beach Boys, a classic rock band that McCain invokes for his classic jokes about blowing people up into smithereens.
Maybe the Dodgers set-up man can zing McCain with some of his own reworded Beach Boys lyrics, while McCain learns to fight for issues Americans so desperately expect from their elected officials instead of causing a splash about pool parties.
God only knows if McCain will get a life.