Dating back to last season, it’s safe to say the Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t been considered the most traditional of teams. Yasiel Puig is known for his bat flips and is one of multiple players on the team who displays plenty of emotion on the field.
This season, the Dodgers have incorporated a bubble machine into their celebrations — primarily on home runs, but it’s made impromptu appearances in other big moments such as, walk-off wins and Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter.
On Wednesday, reports surfaced that MLB had instructed the Dodgers to no longer use a bubble machine in the dugout. The bubbles were absent Tuesday after Juan Uribe’s home run, but reemerged Wednesday after Matt Kemp’s home run in the second inning.
It’s unclear whether the Dodgers and MLB held further discussions regarding the bubbles, or if the team simply opted to defy MLB’s instruction. Following Wednesday’s dramatic win, A.J. Ellis said he hasn’t heard complaints and compared the bubbles to other means teams use to celebrate, via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
No one has ever mentioned the bubbles,” Ellis said. “Everybody has their own way to celebrate a home run. Ours includes a prop. So does Milwaukee, a guy sliding down a slide. So does New York, with a big apple popping up in center field. So many teams are firing off fireworks.
Ellis also believes the bubbles offer a break from the rigors of playing:
It’s fun for the fans. It’s a little innocent thing. This game is serious enough as it is. We get criticized enough for being stoic.”
Andre Ethier is another Dodger who doesn’t believe the team’s dugout should be an issue:
We’re just having a good time with it,” Ethier said. “If it’s not hurting anyone, other than bubble soap getting in someone’s eyes, it shouldn’t be a big deal.”
The Dodgers antics in their dugout earlier this season when fire officials reprimanded them for setting Scott Van Slyke’s foot on fire.
Whether or not the Dodgers will need to forgo bubbles as part of their dugout celebrations remains to be seen. Though if one thing appears likely, it’s the team finding a new twist to put on routine high-fives.
Dodgers Pull “Hot Foot” Prank On Scott Van Slyke