The Hangover: Did Celebration Cost Twins ALDS?

Twins celebration

So the Twins are taking some heat today over their raucous post-game celebration after winning the AL Central on Tuesday. Look at the photo above, and then consider the lead in today’s MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE game story on their 7-2 loss to the Yankees:

Almost predictably, the Twins came up a little flat against the Yankees after Tuesday’s 12-inning thriller.

Almost predictably? Hopefully anyone not connected to the Twins left the lockerroom quickly on Tuesday and laid down a tidy bundle on the Yankees with their friendly offshore bookies. This was the biggest sure thing since the Nazi blitzkrieg was declared the favorite vs. the Polish cavalry.

I’m not sure how long Minnesota’s post-game celebration lasted on Tuesday, but looking back on their bleary-eyed performance in Game 1 at Yankee Stadium the next night, can anyone say that their two-fisted champagne guzzling pictured above was wise? Many are now questioning such behavior on a school night. From the NATIONAL POST:

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?

The correct answer is no. No, you do not.

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.

Yeah, that was written before the Yankees game, in which the Twins blew a 2-0 lead and limped to a 7-2 defeat.

The statistics: Tuesday’s win over Detroit ended at 9:45 p.m. ET, with the first pitch at Yankee Stadium scheduled for just after 6 p.m. the next evening. You’ve got your celebration, your flight, your checking in to a New York hotel, and of course eight hours of restful sleep (laugh track). Those numbers don’t add up.

And consider these: The Twins were 0-7 against the Yankees this season (now 0-8), and 3-23 in New York over the past eight regular seasons. Plus they are two-time losers to the Yankees in first-round playoff series.

One would think that  a team in such intimate proximity to the Tigers, who blew a seven-game division lead in September, wouldn’t take winning for granted.

How should the Twins have handled it on Tuesday night? I’m now picturing Wilford Brimley, the rough-hewn manager from “The Natural,” striding though the Twins lockerroom and tearing down the plastic anti-champagne splatter sheets. “We haven’t won anything yet!” he bellows, as players duck for cover. “Put away that champagne; we have the Yankees tomorrow! And you can bet they’re not drinking right now.”

Results for Joba Chamberlain may vary.

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