With late September in Major League Baseball comes clinching season. We've already seen all six divisions clinched. With those clinchings (yes, we can use that as a word in sports even if it's not technically a word) come over-the-top champagne-and-beer filled celebrations in the clubhouse.
Stuff like this:
Now, the Red Sox situation was actually a pretty funny one. They had just lost on a walk-off grand slam to their bitter rivals, the Yankees. It seems awkward to be celebrating so strongly after a loss like that, but there's no reason to let one moment outshine the entire season of work the Red Sox have done. They earned the AL East title and, as such, earned the right to let loose (we'll get to that in a second).
As an aside, how hilarious would it have been if they didn't wait until they got to the clubhouse to celebrate and instead there were dueling on-field celebrations? The Yankees going crazy about the walk-off granny and the Red Sox going nuts about their division title? ( Hat-tip to David on Twitter for that one) It actually might have been my favorite baseball celebration of all-time.
Regardless, the Red Sox were the sixth celebration of the sort we've seen this year and that's not even 1/3 of the way through. Here's how the clinch celebrations break down:
- Six division champions
- Four wild-card qualifiers
- Two wild-card winners
- Four divisional series winners
- Two league champions
- One World Series champion
That's 19 champagne and beer drenched clubhouse scenes in the span of roughly six weeks.
Some will argue that's excessive and, yes, it probably is. Further, some will argue that this is somehow a bad thing. To them, I say ...
The Major League Baseball season is six months, but the players actually start six weeks before that. They play five (rarely), six or seven days a week, every week, once the season begins -- save for the All-Star break week, when they only have to play three games.
No other sport has a schedule like this. I'm not going to suggest baseball is superior in any physical aspect, but getting through this marathon and accomplishing something like a division title or even a wild card is cause for celebration in my book. Just think about that for a second, it's 162 games. Let them go nuts and enjoy the night, blowing off the steam of so many games. By this point, they've more than earned that right.
Naysayers might say teams shouldn't be celebrating until they've achieved the ultimate goal or at least advanced to the World Series, but that's for the management of the team to decide. We as fans or media don't get to tell the players when they are allowed to have fun. And what's the point of being such a stick in the mud that "people excitedly celebrating an achievement" is a thing that makes one annoyed or even angry?
Speaking of sticks in the mud, one of their favorite Straw Men to build these days involves "participation trophies." Just the other day, I saw someone on Twitter equate these celebrations to participation trophies. How utterly embarrassing. These are teams celebrating playoff berths, not opening day.
Plus, look at the number of playoff teams in the four major American sports:
Yes, MLB is totally handing out participation trophies. Great argument, Keyboard Warrior who hates fun.
Another one I see often is "act like you've been there before."
Why? Give me a strong reason why people aren't allowed to celebrate something in life they've accomplished, even if it's 1) Not a huge deal to other people; 2) Something they've accomplished before in life.
Spoiler: I won't be satisfied with your answer.
You don't get to legislate when people are allowed to be excited and the level of excitement/celebration that is acceptable, so long as it doesn't harm someone else. And no, "I'm annoyed because I don't like it" isn't harm.
It seems like almost everything these days is a referendum on some aspect of society for some people. The more and more I see it, the more I realize that some people just aren't happy unless they are finding some reason to be unhappy.
A bunch of professionals got through a grueling year and accomplished something. They would like to go crazy with an over-the-top celebration. Let them -- again, so long as they aren't hurting anyone. Feel free to do the same in your line of work (seriously, I would love to see office parties spraying champagne everywhere after a big deal is closed).
Life's too short to not enjoy it when the time calls for it. In Major League Baseball, there will be 19 times teams let loose and enjoy it in the clubhouse. I'll enjoy every minute of all 19. I recommend you do the same, but hey, to each his or her own.