MLB playoff celebrations are being dealt a sobering blow this season.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the league is forbidding the presence of alcohol from any stadium celebration as teams clinch playoff spots and advance through each round of the postseason.
It is part of a memorandum the league is working to finalize on implementing more restrained and socially distant celebrations amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The league is expecting to urge players to avoid dogpile celebrations and to keep celebrations outdoors while masking up as soon as they possibly can. They also plan to distribute T-shirts and caps in a way to limit contact.
Some of these things may be difficult for the league to enforce, but the one thing they can control is the presence of alcohol, which is provided by the teams.
MLB can essentially control the clubhouse through the teams, and removing the presence of alcohol – which players typically douse one another with – would certainly limit contact between players.
Throughout the course of the season, players have attempted to pull off socially distant celebrations on walk-off home runs and big moments, but social distancing efforts have not been 100% effective.
When Cubs pitcher Alex Mills tossed a no-hitter on Sunday, he was mobbed by his teammates who were hugging and high-fiving him on the mound.
As teams go deeper into the playoffs, it may be impossible for teams to avoid a celebration like that, but whatever happens one thing is for sure – it will be a party with no booze.