On June 9, 2019, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy smashed a home run off of San Francisco Giants pitcher, Madison Bumgarner. The ball sailed 424 feet out of Oracle Park into McCovey Cove. The ensuing conversation has been well documented, but basically Mad Bum took exception to Muncy admiring his own handiwork. From that moment the “go get it out of the ocean” phrase has become a household name. Almost immediately, shirts and memes were being made to celebrate the now infamous splashdown and ensuing conversation between the two.
Fast-forward two weeks to yesterday’s rematch between Bumgarner and Muncy. Multiple players were donning the phrase on t-shirts. The team organist had a ocean themed playlist and even the individual responsible for the player facts on the big left field video board got in on the mix with this:
— Arbitrum (?,?) (@djsevere) June 21, 2019
A day later twitter was alive with judgement and ridicule for the Dodgers organization. Referring to the antics as childish, minor league, and “poking a bear”.
Well, this writer for one, loved it. Not because I’m a Dodgers fan, not because the Giants are the Dodgers’ archrivals, but because the Dodgers as an organization were having fun with it. Yes, they were rallying behind their teammate and being supportive, but they could’ve let it die after the game that started it all. Instead, they used it as a bonding tool, a team building exercise. One of the key components of leadership is finding something everyone can rally behind, something everyone can support. What do you think a political campaign is all about?
This slogan transcended all levels of the Dodger organization and fanbase. The players wore the shirts, the organist played the music, the video board-ist added his or her 2¢, and even fans were buying the shirts from street vendors as they made their way to the parking booths. This was good for the Dodgers.
Its the Fun That Leads to Wins
Childish? Maybe, but is this not a kids game? Is that not why we as adults, love it, so we can feel like kids again? I still bring a glove with me to games. I got into a light-hearted argument with my wife when I expressed I wouldn’t give a foul ball to the kids sitting next to us if I caught one (relax, I would… maybe). I’d still ask for an autograph if I met any of the players, that is, if I wasn’t too starstruck.
The point is I’m glad to see the team and organization having fun. Whether its Alex Verdugo “skiing” in the dugout, Kike being Kike, or Kershaw doing some kind of weird head-bobbing, heel-kicking, hopping-running man dance, I’m glad they are bonding through this childish fun. It keeps the pressure down, the joy up, and the wins coming!
Tip for Mad Bum
One final note to Madison Bumgarner if he happens to read this. All will be forgiven when the Dodgers sign you as a rental this year, but if you really want win over the fans just show up to your press conference with a goggles, a snorkel and one water-logged baseball.