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Inside the Orioles clubhouse celebration, from a shower with laundry cart to the cap collection – Twin Cities

Orioles players, coaches and staff filed into the clubhouse after an 11-inning battle with the Tampa Bay Rays, each wearing bright orange shirts with “Take October” plastered across their chests. Manager Brandon Hyde tipped his hat slightly from his forehead with a sigh of relief and raised a Budweiser in his right hand to address the plastic-wrapped room.

“I couldn’t have done it any other way today,” Hyde said of the Orioles’ 5-4 victory that doubled their lead in the American League East and came shortly after the Texas Rangers’ loss , which solidified the organization’s first trip to the playoffs since 2016. “An absolute grind. I’m so proud of you guys this whole year.

With every word out of the fifth-year manager’s mouth, another bottle of champagne gushed in anticipation of a moment this team had been waiting for. “Step one,” Hyde said. And again: “This is the first step”, since each bottle of Bouvet champagne marked the post-match speech. “We’re going to keep doing this because it’s fun. That’s why we do this. This is the first step in a long celebration. Here we go!”

The room exploded. Right fielder Anthony Santander was the first to crash into the middle of the circle to shut down his manager. The players continued to kiss and pour each other drinks, filling the narrowed eyes. Pitcher Kyle Gibson half-jokingly discouraged his teammates from wearing the bright green-banded glasses. “The burn is the best part,” he said.

“I used them like in 2017 (with the Minnesota Twins) and then I didn’t see anything,” Gibson continued. “So you know what? I said, ‘Damn. I’m going to enjoy the burn. It only burns very little and you are not guaranteed to feel that burn again.

Pent-up energy from a stressful end to a consequential game and the culmination of years of rebuilding in the making permeated the clubhouse in the form of boozy showers and wide smiles blowing celebratory cigar smoke.

“It’s a big milestone to lose 110 games two years ago and then win the playoffs,” Hyde said. “So everyone involved, I’m just happy for them. I didn’t say a lot of words because all of a sudden we had a lot of spray, but I want them to really enjoy this moment and they deserve to celebrate and they earned it. But we still have a way to go.

No two celebrations are the same at the MLB club. The unique personalities and energy of lists and cities shine brightest in shared joy.

Baltimore’s postgame festivities were a peek behind the curtain of a team that has recently weathered several 100-loss seasons and emerged on the other side with pace to eclipse 100 wins.

“Most of us came together, so the camaraderie here is unmatched,” said pitcher Dean Kramer, who went five innings and a deep hitter, allowing one run with five strikeouts in Sunday’s win. . “They’re basically my best friends.”

It was Kyle Bradish in charge of the music to kick off the celebration.

The thumping bass intro to Sexyy Red’s cultural anthem “SkeeYee” marked the end of Hyde’s speech. Next, Bradish gathered his teammates for the chorus of Lil Uzi Vert’s “Just Wanna Rock.” The pitcher then played Kodak Black’s “Transportin'” — Adley Rustchman knew every word to that one — followed by Kid Cudi’s “Day ‘N’ Nite.”

Bradish then handed the Bluetooth speaker to Santander, who changed the ambiance to reflect his Latin American roots. He danced to songs like “A Partir De Esa Dia” by Fao Fao and then “Taki Taki” by DJ Snake.

And as the clubhouse slowly emptied, leaving only the players, Santander blasted “SkeeYee” again.

James McCann and Jack Flaherty directed much of the controlled chaos.

The team’s veteran catcher and their most coveted acquisition at the deadline took on the “home run” duties. Nor let anyone go from crouching to one knee and huffing while their teammates poured extra champagne over the top.

Shintaro Fujinami, who pitched 2/3 innings Sunday, allowing one hit and one walk with one strikeout, played the role of the friend who only needs a few drinks before telling everyone the world how much he loves them. Fujinami jumped into her teammate’s arms. And he locked arms for a beer with fellow reliever Yennier Cano.

Somewhere in Fujinami’s cell phone roll is a selfie video of him on his knees, arm outstretched to record himself taking a flood of champagne to his face.

Then came the Heston Kjerstad concoction. The 24-year-old right fielder, who was promoted Thursday and crushed his first homer a day later in his third career at-bat, rode in a clubhouse laundry cart — a long-standing club tradition — house often used to celebrate career firsts.

Kjerstad sat deep in the cart, arms and legs dangling over the sides as his teammates drowned him in a mixture of liquids.

It was beer and champagne. It was Chick-fil-A sauce and olive oil. Players collected copious smoothie flavors to dump on Kjerstad’s head. Dressing, mango salsa, ice cream, juice and even a watermelon all made their way around the rookie after the first series of his big league career.

Heading to his locker at one point, Gibson bent down to slip a few champagne bottle corks and put them in his locker. They became little souvenirs in his home. Gibson said his children loved seeing them.

“They feel like they’re a part of it,” he said. “You appreciate every moment, find little things to take with you so you can look back on those moments, because it’s not fun every day, but you don’t get to do that often, so you have to enjoy it.”

The Orioles sure appreciated it. They almost had to celebrate after a loss, which surely would have spoiled the mood, as back-to-back Tampa Bay homers in the top of the eighth gave the Rays a 3-1 lead. But a comeback that largely showcased the team’s resilient backbone earned them every popped bottle of champagne.

“We had discussions about what we wanted to do here after the game, whether it was a win, a loss, a clinch, whatever,” Gibson said. “In the end, it turned out that you’re never guaranteed to be able to do this again. So, whenever you get the opportunity, you take it and make the most of it. … It’s really cool to be able to sit back and see guys who have been through this really enjoying this moment.

The Orioles sniffed a bit of success last year after being in the playoff race until the final days. But this year, they were able to taste it. They earned the chance to bask in the cigar-lit, champagne-and-beer-soaked glory of a playoff berth.

“This is the happiest day of my life,” Ryan Mountcastle said. “Champagne tastes a little sweeter.”

Baltimore Sun reporters Nathan Ruiz and Jacob Calvin Meyer contributed to this article.



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