The Dodgers' public meltdown

Updated: August 17, 2012, 10:53 AM ET
By Buster Olney

I watched most of the Dodgers-Pirates game Thursday, including all of the anger between the L.A. traveling party and home plate umpire, and was reminded of one of the crucial elements of being a parent: You have to know when to walk away and ignore the last embers of a kid's explosion, because if you engage on every single word and action, you could stand there forever rendering penalties and never move forward.

For example: After the Matt Kemp and Don Mattingly ejections, Dodgers pitcher Joe Blanton was crushed by a home run. As Blanton was relieved, he walked off the mound staring at home plate umpire Angel Campos, wordless, moving steadily toward the dugout.

If Campos simply had averted his eyes for just a moment and pretended to look down at his scorecard, Blanton and the game would've moved on. But Campos tracked Blanton with his eyes, Blanton said a few words, Campos ejected him, and the whole thing blew up.

Later, Hanley Ramirez struck out, swinging and missing on an A.J. Burnett slider to end an inning. Then he fired his bat down, probably in reaction to a strike two call that he disagreed with. He didn't say anything to Campos; he didn't look back at the umpire.

Campos could have turned and asked the ballboy for new baseballs, he could have strolled down the third base, he could have spent the moment daydreaming about a fantasy football league draft. Whatever.

But Campos called attention to the bat-hurl and pulled out a pen to mark it down, telling Ramirez that he'd be fined for the equipment toss. And the next thing you know, Campos winds up arguing about the whole thing with Dodgers bench coach Trey Hillman, who was filling in for the ejected Mattingly.

What every parent knows: Sometimes it's just better to walk away after you've made your initial point. Just walk away.