Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Celebration for Postseason Berth Muted, Bigger Parties Coming Soon

The Los Angeles Dodgers may or may not have clinched a playoff spot on Sunday, but either way, they didn’t go crazy about it.

It was commonly assumed that they had clinched after the game, but it appears there’s still technically a chance for some weird tiebreakers to knock the Dodgers out. So the Dodgers still need to win at least one more game this year to assure their postseason spot.

Technicality or not, it’s safe to say the Dodgers are going to be in the postseason. By the atmosphere in the clubhouse after the game, though, you wouldn’t necessarily have known their Sunday win over the Padres was much different from any of the other 95 wins they’ve had this year.

There was no champagne. There was no parade through San Diego’s Gaslamp District, even though there were plenty of Dodger fans around and we know how San Diego loves a good “We Made the Postseason” parade.

No, there was none of that. There was simply a quick statement from Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts to his team acknowledging the accomplishment. Then they put on silly costumes and got on an airplane.

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, who had a huge game on Sunday, said it’s something the players appreciate, despite the understated celebration.

“I don’t think it’s anything you can take for granted,” Turner said of the postseason berth. “I’ve been on some teams early in my career that didn’t have this opportunity. So definitely fortunate to be a part of my organization that cares about winning.

“We got everyone together and (Manager) Dave (Roberts) gave a short little toast. Just enjoy this one a little bit and we still have a lot of work to do in front of us.”

The Dodgers will likely clinch the division in the next few days — we know their magic number is 2, and there’s no confusion on this one — and first baseman Freddie Freeman says the celebration for that accomplishment will be more grand.

“I don’t think it’s going to be ho-hum when we win the division,” first baseman Freddie Freeman said. “That’s special. Whenever you win a division, that’s special and you celebrate that. Postseason berth may be a little different. But in a couple days, hopefully we’ll be a little bit more going crazy.”

While at least half the Dodgers roster has already won a World Series, there are also a handful of players who have never made the postseason before. One of those is Andrew Heaney, Sunday’s winning pitcher, who is finally on a playoff team for the first time in his nine-year career.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been on a playoff team,” he said after allowing just two runs (and only one home run) in five innings Sunday. “I was joking with some guys, it’s ho-hum for them. But I was like, ‘This a big deal for me.’

“Last year was tough for me. Got optioned then DFA’d a couple days before the end of the season. I watched the Yankees celebrate, pop champagne. I was sitting in a hotel room by myself. That was a pretty low point for me. So now to be on a team like this and hopefully be contributing to it, trying to hold my weight and do what I can to help us win – this is something that I relish, for sure.”

The champagne celebration is part of a player’s career memories. The Dodgers won’t deny Heaney and others like him their moment simply because it was expected. And hopefully, everyone will get several more celebrations in the next couple months.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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