On Clinching

Yesterday the Kansas City Royals clinched the AL Central division title with a win over the Mariners. This means the Mariners players had to watch while they all celebrated on the field.

It has been my experience that players and managers of opposing teams do not want to watch the other team celebrate – no matter how bad the season has been. A team can be 30 games under .500 and mathematically eliminated since May, and they don’t want to see the other team celebrate when they clinch a title.

Many years ago – I can’t recall the exact details; and this is the type of thing that is tough to look up – the Rainiers saw two teams clinch against them in less than a week. Tacoma was playing one team, they clinched the division with a win, and then a couple of days later was playing another team that clinched. I do recall the Rainiers manager being quite peeved about this.

You know who else doesn’t like clinching celebrations? The home team’s stadium operations crew, when the road team clinches.

Tacoma has a clubhouse manager who takes care of the visiting team at Cheney Stadium. If the Rainiers are playing Las Vegas, and Vegas can clinch the Pac-South with a win, the clubhouse manager has to get the champagne ready, he has to hang up plastic in front of the lockers, and worst of all… he has to clean up the mess later. Every visiting-side clubbie in the league would just as soon see a team clinch in some other city.

These aren’t problems when the home team clinches – that’s what everyone has been pulling for all season. But when it’s the road team, the general thought is “not in my backyard.”

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Have a great weekend, and we’ll have a fresh post for you on Monday afternoon.

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