MLB To Crack Down On Postgame Celebrations?

By: Paul DiSclafani

collins NLCS Game 4

Is there anything better than watching your team celebrate in the clubhouse with champagne after clinching a playoff spot or winning a playoff series?  Haven’t you or your friends at one point sprayed each other with champagne just for the heck of it?  Just for the pure science of shaking that bottle and seeing how far you can get it to spray?

I can tell you, it definitely burns the eyes.  It is disgustingly sticky and it tastes just awful.  You think we fans spray expensive champagne?  I try to get as many bottles for my $10 as possible.

But did you know that Major League baseball has rules for postseason celebrations?  Amazingly, there is an actual policy that states teams must have non-alcoholic beverages available and champagne must be limited to two bottles per player and must be used specifically for spraying each other, and not for drinking. Beer is the only kind of alcohol allowed, and only one beer is allowed  – Budweiser.

I guess that answers the question why you never see them doing flaming shots of Yukon Jack.

In their last three celebrations, all on the road, apparently the Mets have not been in compliance with league policy.  Terry Collins and his players left the clubhouse during their celebrations to join the handful of fans that made the trek into the opposing ballparks.  They were drinking champagne and Budweiser beer and celebrating with the fans – by spraying them with champagne.  It was a priceless and joyous moment for everyone involved – except the Office of the Commissioner.

The Commissioner’s Office said it is pondering “appropriate steps” to combat the images of players drinking on the field and spraying fans with champagne following clinching games. The league has contacted the players involved to warn them that future incidents will result in discipline.

“Things have gone beyond where they’re supposed to,” said Pat Courtney, MLB’s Chief communications officer and Party Pooper. “You just have to turn on the TV and you can see it.”

arietta and son with champagne

Jake Arietta and son in the Cubs locker room after beating the Cardinals in the NLDS

Cubs pitcher Jake Arrietta was photographed holding his infant son, who was pouring champagne into Arietta’s open mouth.  Collins was captured on video spaying Mets fans in Cincinnati and Chicago.

“Our policy explicitly states that no alcohol is permitted outside of the clubhouse or at any time on the field of play, and that all celebrations involving the use of alcohol must take place within the clubhouse,” said the Queen of Doom.  “We have MLB security on-site to enforce our rules. The commissioner determines the appropriate steps if any individuals violate our rules.”

Is the league concerned with lawsuits from fans that got sprayed with champagne during a celebration that might sue them for dry cleaning bills?  Are they worried that their sponsors will be upset that their products are not being consumed responsibly?

John Lester and his son during the Cubs NLDS Clinching celebration

John Lester and his son during the Cubs NLDS Clinching celebration

The 2010 Texas Rangers celebrated with Ginger Ale in deference to teammate Josh Hamilton, an admitted alcoholic.  The Yankee champions of the late 90’s celebrated with non-alcoholic champagne when they had Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry on their rosters.  It was back in 2010 that now Commissioner, then MLB Executive Vice President Rob Manfred issued the edict about not bringing alcoholic drinks onto the field and at that time even banned beer in the clubhouse.  Guess Budweiser threw some cash the League’s way to get that one removed from the books.

Postgame celebrations have been a part of baseball since, well, forever.  Sharing the giddiness with the fans in the stands is harmless and priceless.  Ok, maybe infant children pouring champagne down your throat is a tad over the top, but come on.  It’s a celebration!  Didn’t your Dad ever give you a sip of beer for a special occasion?

Hasn’t anyone ever seen the ending to “The Bad News Bears”?



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