In an effort to continue cleaning up the game of baseball, MLB Exectuive Vice President of Baseball Operations and former manager Joe Torre told the Los Angeles Dodgers to immediately cease all bubble-related activities in the dugout.
You may have heard that the Dodgers have a little machine in the dugout that blows bubbles. They turn it on whenever a player hits a homerun. It’s funny. The fans like it. The players like it. It’s a simple celebration.
L.A. Times reporter Bill Shaikin reported on Torre’s bubble ban:
Before Tuesday’s game against the Angels at Dodger Stadium, Joe Torre, Major League Baseball executive vice president, advised the Dodgers to stop using the machine.
That word did not get to all the players, or to the video crew. When Juan Uribe hit a home run in the second inning, the Dodger Stadium video board flashed an image with the words “Bubble Machine.”
As Uribe trotted around the bases, the players gathered for the dugout celebration. Uribe danced with Hanley Ramirez, but the bubble machine was conspicuous in its absence.
Does Joe Torre hate fun? Is he upset that he never thought to use bubbles when he managed the Dodgers for three seasons? We aren’t sure, but we do know that Torre and Bud Selig probably have more important things to worry about than a children’s toy.
It isn’t all bad news though. The Bubble Machine was back the following day! There’s no word on whether the Dodgers have gone rogue and decided to blow bubbles despite the league’s disapproval or if Torre changed his mind. The league refused to comment on the situation.
Catcher A.J. Ellis told the L.A. Times that he didn’t understand why the league would take issue with the Bubble Machine.
“Everybody has their own way to celebrate a home run,” He said. “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. 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.”
There are so many unanswered questions here, but Don Mattingly did confirm yesterday to ESPN that the bubbles aren’t going away.
“I’m not involved with the bubble machine,” Mattingly said. “It’s above my head. Bubblegate is above my pay grade. The powers above say the bubble machine stays.”