During the Los Angeles Dodgers’ stretch of play that pulled them from 9.5 games back in the division, bubbles became a staple of their home run celebrations. However in August, the Dodgers were instructed they could no longer use the bubble machine in the dugout.
A.J. Ellis and Andre Ethier defended its use, and the ban lasted one game before the bubbles made their triumphant return without an explanation of what exactly transpired.
According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, MLB executive vice president of baseball operations, Joe Torre, didn’t believe the machine was appropriate:
That was just my personal feeling,” Torre said. “I’m in charge of baseball on the field, and I just didn’t think it was appropriate.”
Torre also shared his belief that it differs from celebrations seen in other ballparks but said without a rule in place, it was permitted to return:
There was no particular rule against it,” he said. “I just felt that was taking stuff onto the field. That was different than what was going on in the stands — the guy sliding down in Milwaukee, the [Phillie] Phanatic. Something that was happening on the field, I just didn’t feel it was appropriate. But there was no rule written against it. So that’s why it was out for one day and wasn’t out for another day.”
Dating back to last season, the Dodgers haven’t lacked in their creativity of celebrations. This season, they’ve included selfies, and various hand gestures.
When the St. Louis Cardinals took exception to the Dodgers’ acts in last season’s NLCS and called them “Mickey Mouse”, Adrian Gonzalez responded by using his hands to create Mickey Mouse ears after hitting a home run.
This season, not only did the Dodgers have their bubbles back after one game, they’ve gone through multiple machines and have held some in reserve.