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The MLB Playoffs are in full swing and the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros became the first two teams to punch their tickets to the National League and American League Championship series yesterday.
The Dodgers swept the Arizona Diamondbacks in three games while the Astros topped the Boston Red Sox in four games.
While the accomplishments of the Dodgers and Astros are impressive and they remain favorites to win their respective pennants, there was one aspect to their series wins that had me scratching my head: the overdramatic postgame celebrations in the locker room.
In fact, it’s an aspect of celebrating in the game of baseball in general that has always made me wonder why it happens so often.
Locker room celebrations with the champagne and the goggles are overdone in baseball, plain and simple. It is the only sport in which this type of celebration is done after every step on the way to a championship, the ultimate goal and the big reason to celebrate.
You never see this in the game of hockey. The Pittsburgh Penguins made it through four rounds of competition and didn’t celebrate until they raised Lord Stanley’s Cup, achieving the ultimate goal.
I’m not diminishing what is accomplished during an MLB postseason run. It’s hard to make it far into the playoffs, but a wild card win, a division series victory and a pennant should only be seen as stepping stones to the actual goal of winning a World Series.
There may be some exceptions to this. Look at the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates team for example. Celebrating after clinching a playoff berth for the first time in 21 years is acceptable in my opinion. Doing the same after the wild card win over the Cincinnati Reds was somewhat acceptable as well given the long, painful streak the organization had to endure to get to that point.
However, if the Pirates were to win the division series that year and celebrated again as they did the two previous times, that might have been the point where it became overdone.
I’m okay with a team celebrating in the locker room when clinching a playoff berth or winning a division because teams work hard during the regular season for that accomplishment. However, that should be the last of the overdramatic celebrating until that World Series championship trophy is obtained.
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