So what's a team to do when it clinches a division title when it's not even at the ballpark?
Such a scenario could happen to Cincinnati on Monday: With a magic number reduced to one, the Reds have the day off and St. Louis hosts Pittsburgh.
If the Pirates win, the Reds win their first NL Central title since 1995 ... without even playing.
Will manager Dusty Baker call the troops in to Great American Ballpark for a celebration?
"Guys have stuff to do," Baker says. "Family stuff ... you need some personal time, some family time. Guys are preparing to move out of their places. Some of their leases are up Oct. 1. That's a lot to do."
Baker also mentioned unpacking from the club's 10-day, three-city trip, resting, watching the Cardinals on television and watching Monday Night Football.
"That's what I'm going to do," Baker said, referring to everything mentioned in the previous sentence.
Undoubtedly, some in Cincinnati will be pulling for St. Louis to beat the Pirates so that the Reds can win the division title on the field Tuesday against Houston. That way, local fans could watch and perhaps participate in the celebration.
"It would be funny," infielder Brandon Phillips says of the idea of clinching Monday night while the Reds are scattered. "Some guys would be at clubs, some would be at Jeff Ruby's [a local steakhouse], some would be at the bowling alley, some would be home in their own houses celebrating by themselves."
One thing Phillips knows is, as a non-drinker, he's told his teammates that he will have his first glass of champagne when the NL Central title belongs to the Reds.
Likes: The seven-game sprint the end for San Diego. And six games for San Francisco and Atlanta. ... How good is Reds first baseman Joey Votto? When he cracked a homer against Clayton Richard on Sunday, it was the first homer the Padres' lefty surrendered to a lefty hitter since Aug. 1, 2009. Lefties had gone homerless over 241 at-bats against Richard since. Not Votto. ... How funny is it that the San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys are both 1-2? ... Monroe (Mich.) St. Mary Catholic Central rolled over New Boston Huron 47-3 on Friday night. Excellent. The Falcons machine is up and going. ... Love John Mellencamp's new disc No Better Than This. Great stuff.
Dislikes: Watching Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka nibble, er, pitch.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"Wanna go where the summer never ends
"With my guitar on the beach there with all my friends
"The sun's so hot and the waves in motion
"And everything smells like suntan lotion
"The ocean, and the girls so sweet
"So kick off your shoes and relax your feet
"They say that miracles are never seizing
"And every single soul needs a little releasing
"The stereo bumping till the sun goes down
"And I only wanna hear that sound"
-- Michael Franti & Spearhead, Sound of Sunshine