Rocco Baldelli stood in the middle of the Twins clubhouse, not long after his team clinched its first playoff berth since 2020, and he gave a short speech.
"We followed through on what we said we were going to do," the fifth-year manager said to his players, all of whom were equipped with goggles. "We said it. We did it. Now we really get to work. Tonight, we celebrate. So, celebrate."
As soon as Baldelli finished his last word, champagne bottles sprayed everywhere, and Budweiser beer cans flew across the room. After six months, the Twins were American League Central champions.
It's the party to commemorate the season's ups and downs. Kyle Farmer sprayed Sonny Gray in the back with champagne as another teammate dumped beer over Farmer's head. As soon as Farmer was done, Gray turned around and sprayed champagne in Farmer's face. They hugged afterward.
Players took turns in the middle of the room as the No. 1 target for all the champagne and beer with music pulsing through the room. One moment it was a shirtless Carlos Correa. Another minute, it was rookie Royce Lewis.
"That's what it should look like," said Baldelli, who watched from a few feet away. "That's exactly what it should look like right there. Can someone take a picture of that and send it to me? Because I want to see that later."
Kenta Maeda, who has pitched in 25 postseason games, is a veteran of the clinching parties. He stood atop the drink cart and sprayed drinks on teammates from above them. At one point, Maeda, Dallas Keuchel and Chris Paddack were among a group playing rock, paper, scissors, where the loser had to lie on the ground for a merciless beer shower.
It didn't matter if a player was a World Series champion or a first-time playoff entrant, days like Friday are special to everyone. Michael A. Taylor made sure to douse members of the team's support staff.
Lewis, after the initial champagne-spraying frenzy, began walking around the room to take selfies with everyone. Alex Kirilloff paused at one point to take a picture as he stood on the outer edge. Joe Ryan hugged pitching coach Pete Maki, then poured beer down his coach's back as they both started laughing.
"To see it pay off the way it did, it's hard to put into words," Byron Buxton said. "It's been a long year. Not just for myself, but for everybody in here. There was a lot of mental preparation that goes into it. It feels amazing."
As the middle of the clubhouse turned into a champagne-and-beer-soaked puddle, players reminisced on how their season changed after the All-Star break. The Twins swept Oakland in their first series out of the break and things started clicking offensively.
"It's all about believing," Max Kepler said. "In baseball, sometimes you do everything right and you don't get the result. You just have to keep going. Everybody in here is gifted and talented. It's starting to show."
Cigars eventually were passed around the room. Once the drinks stopped spraying as frequently, players looked for photographers, so they could document the night.
"Last year we had it kind of ripped out of our grasp," said Ryan Jeffers, as he held two slices from Pizza Lucé. "This year coming in was a little more of a drive, a little bit more, 'This division is ours.' We really believed in what we had and knew it would come together and when it did, we'd be dangerous."
Speaking to fans from the field after the 8-6 victory over the Angels, Farmer promised a win to end the franchise's 18-game postseason losing streak, which dates to 2004.
"Ever since I became a Twin, I read about it, I've heard about it," Pablo López said of the playoff losing streak. "The 2023 Twins were built differently. We're a different breed. We're going to go out there and show everyone what we can do when we're on the field. We can take on anyone."
The playoffs, however, can wait for a couple more weeks. Friday was about a team celebrating a goal they sought for the past six months.
"This one feels different," Buxton said. "Just being at home, being in front of the home crowd to win it. The bond we've got with the guys in here. It makes it that much more better."