Too much of a good thing.
No, not Major League Baseball’s post season games. They’re riveting. Baseball has the best post season going and it’s not even close. Starting with a de facto Game Seven, ‘Win-or-go-home’ tilt in the opening Wild Card games, the MLB Play-offs are almost always edge of your seat stuff (even into the wee hours of the morning in some places.) How do they top the Chicago Cubs coming back from being down three games to one to force a Game Seven of the World Series that then gets decided in extra innings? They can’t, can they?
Guess we’ll have to wait and see what this October brings us.
No, you won’t find many who think there’s too much post season baseball. However, the all out champagne celebrations that now accompany every win that means advancement in the tournament? Those have gotten to be way too frequent.
The champagne glasses runneth over.
It wasn’t that many years ago that the popping of corks was reserved for the night a team clinched a play-off spot, with another final celebration again when that team won the World Series. Given the length in between, those would happen roughly a month apart.
Then, at some point – perhaps around the time when players starting wear protective goggles (product endorsement opportunity!) in the clubhouse to shield their eyes from the spraying bubbly – these rowdy clubhouse parties started to happen multiple times during the fall. Now they seem to be happening every night in late September and early October. Before the 2017 League Division Series even begin, there will have been more than a dozen champagne celebrations already.
Here’s a party scenario for the next would-be World Series winners:
- Clinch a play-off spot: Break out the champagne.
- Clinch the division title a week later: Break it out again.
- Win your first round play-off series (the LDS) to advance to the LCS: More champagne!
- Win the League Championship Series to advance to play in the World Series: You guessed it = more bubbly (and if you don’t mind, bring the good stuff this time…)
- Finally, win the World Series: Pop those corks for a fifth time…assuming there are any left on the premises.
FIVE champagne celebrations in one season. Heck, the World Series LOSER would have had FOUR!
Imagine if all or most of this happened at home. The carpet cleaning bill alone would be enormous. And hopefully the folks that spend all that time putting up all the protective plastic all over the locker room for those five champagne showers are getting well compensated for their time and efforts, too.
This isn’t meant to be any sort of buzz kill. Winners should celebrate. Guys who hit game winning home runs in a critical post-season moment should he allowed to flip their bats into the upper deck if they want to. If that guy wants to jump around the bases on a pogo stick, so be it. But isn’t it better if that player/team has actually WON something, not merely stayed alive in a tournament? Do the teams that win NCAA March Madness second round games spray each other with beer in the locker room? Do NFL teams have champagne celebrations when they win a first round play-off game? No. Other sports reserve the bubbly for the ultimate celebration.
Champagne celebrations are traditional, and go back in sports as long as anyone can remember. I still have an empty champagne bottle I kept after we won the Triple A World Series way back in 1991. I’ll never forget it. We celebrated when we won our league title (a big accomplishment) and again when we won the ultimate prize available to us that season. We didn’t pop the corks when we clinched a play-off spot. We acted like we’d been there before…and still had work to do.
Only in today’s baseball are these televised post-game parties happening multiple times, over and over and over again – sometimes in the same week – during the same season. Yes, they’re good TV, and that means a lot more now than it used to. But showing a traditional powerhouse like the New York Yankees celebrating a single wild card game win with a big clubhouse champagne celebration – while knowing full well that they could be eliminated from World Series contention before the next wave of Sunday NFL games kick off – smacks of the “everyone gets a trophy for participating” mindset.
Even good things like celebrations can become too much. Having five champagne celebrations in a single season dilutes the one at the end of the year – the one that should really mean something.