Hey, it's time to disagree with someone again. Whee! Premise: the Twins' post-game celebration after beating the Tigers was idiotic and cost them the next day. Our take: The Twins' grueling stretch of baseball, capped by an emotional game 163 victory, probably played a role in a lackluster effort on short rest. But that's it. Blaming it on the celebration is flat-out wrong. But instead of ending the discussion there, let's go blow-by-blow in Noah Love's National Post story, which came out shortly before Game 1 (our thoughts in bold):
The Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night defeated the Detroit Tigers 6-5 in 12 innings to win the American League Central title and a trip to the playoffs.
Not off to a great start. Right score, right duration, right division, wrong day. Guess that's why the National Post normally focuses on Canadian news, financial news and opinion instead of sports and probing features on days of the week.
The Twins' first game of their series against the New York Yankees is scheduled to take place Thursday night just after 6 p.m.
Again, hate to harp on the little things. But days of the week are not the kinds of facts that need deeply sourced confirmations. They are available to be double-checked on most modern calendars.
So you're the Twins. You have to start the playoffs against the powerhouse Yanks, at Yankee Stadium, less than 24 hours after your emotional win. You probably want to eat a good dinner, get a good night's rest (presumably in a New York hotel) to give yourself a maximum shot at a stunning upset in Game 1, right?
That would be great, yes. However, when a game ends at close to 9 p.m. Central (10 Eastern), and there is still a matter of dealing with media obligations and other things, there is no possible way this is going to happen. So you might as well have an exuberant (though in reality fairly short) clubhouse celebration to fully appreciate A MIRACLE COMEBACK THAT WAS CAPPED BY ONE OF THE BEST GAMES MOST OF THE PLAYERS HAD EVER PLAYED IN AND MOST PEOPLE HAVE EVER SEEN IN PERSON.
The correct answer is no. No, you do not.
So we agree then. Fantastic. We can stop arguing. I hate when we argue, Noah Love.
Instead, you have the traditional clubhouse Champagne celebration, cost yourself hours of sleep and a possible hangover. In other news, the Yankees are favoured by 30 runs in Game 1.
Wait a minute. I think you tricked me. Now I have to disagree again. Hours of sleep? Again, that sleep was lost by the duration of the game, the length of the flight and other logistics. It had very little, if anything, to do with the celebration. A possible hangover? Have you ever tried to spray champagne into your mouth? Players probably got enough of a buzz to get them halfway to the airport. The rest is on the clubhouse floor. Maybe Nick Punto and Matt Tolbert caught some fumes, being closer to the ground and all, but that's it. The Yankees are favoured by 30 runs? Yes, we're pretty sure Vegas took a good look at the celebration and said, "Well, we had the Twins at -120 against Sabathia, but did you see how much fun they had after the game? Now they'll never beat the best team in baseball! Adjust the line at all costs!"
While the Twins' decision to celebrate was, to put it mildly, ill-advised, here are some possible reasons for it:
Already out of steam with the original premise so soon? But it was so good!
1. They realized they had no shot at beating the Yankees, so hey, may as well celebrate once.
Or they celebrated like any other team when they clinched their division.
2. Alcohol sterilizes the bacteria from 12 innings of sweat right out of those uniforms.
I've been staring at that sentence for five minutes and it's so absurd that it's baffled me into submssion. You win that point, Noah. It's Love-15.
3. The game was SO emotional that they thought they had won the World Series just for putting on such a good show.
Again, the game -- and the last three weeks -- was emotional. But no, they weren't confused. They were just having honest, human reactions. Not all players are unblinking baseball robots like Mark Teixeira.
That's it. Nothing else makes sense. And, of course, neither do those reasons (except maybe No. 1).
Indeed. Nothing about that made sense.