The Tampa Bay Rays seem to pride themselves on being a little bit different, and nothing demonstrated that more than the fact they waited 10 days to celebrate clinching their playoff berth, showering each other with champagne and cigar smoke following their 5-0 win against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.
The win itself clinched nothing.
Tampa Bay has been in the playoffs since Sept. 17 and has not really had much to play for since then other than securing the highest seed possible.
Still, they decided not to celebrate on the night they actually clinched a playoff spot because that game was a loss in Baltimore. The loss ultimately did not matter because a Texas Rangers loss that night put the Rays in.
They simply strategically waited to celebrate until they not only won but also had the next day off so they could truly let loose in celebration without having to worry about coming back to play a game.
Wednesday in Boston was the perfect time.
Rays general manager Peter Bendix admitted it was a little weird to celebrate on Wednesday, but everybody seemed to be loving it.
“When we clinched … in Baltimore — tough game to clinch on. But it doesn’t make it any less special right now,” said Bendix, who was drenched in champagne and beer in the clubhouse. “Every time you make the playoffs, it’s a really cool thing. And it might be the last time for anybody in this room,” he said. “And so when you make the playoffs, that’s an accomplishment that you celebrate. It’s a little weird that we’re celebrating tonight but, in my opinion, it’s the right thing to do. And I think the guys are having a great time.”