The Blue Jays playoff celebration worth the wait: ‘Enjoy it, hug it, cherish it’

TORONTO – The Blue Jays had to wait patiently for the party. But it was worth it.

More than 24 hours after officially securing a spot in the postseason, the team was finally able to get the booze-filled celebrations underway after a 9-0 win over the Red Sox on Friday at the Rogers Centre.

While the lockers were covered in plastic, interim manager John Schneider stood in the center of the clubhouse and spoke, telling the team to enjoy the celebration while potentially facing some CRTC fines for Sportsnet using some mixed bag of language. Then the corks were popped and the party was on.

The players took aim at Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who doused the first baseman with a cocktail of beer and wine in revenge for the many post-game water cooler showers he gave out to his teammates. Alek Manoah, who won six shutout innings, stood in the center of the room, spraying champagne and shouting his signature phrase, “We’re here!” Later, the pitchers surrounded pitching coach Pete Walker and ambushed him with a beer shower. For part of the night, 35-year-old backup pitcher David Phelps, who was back in the postseason for the first time since his rookie season, roamed around in the home run jacket.

That this party was planned rather than one of the impromptu celebrations that usually follow a pivotal moment didn’t dampen the spirits at all. Of course we only mean that figuratively, because everything was very, very wet in the truest sense of the word. The Blue Jays playoff celebration worth the wait: ‘Enjoy it, hug it, cherish it’

John Verrall

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