I watched Tampa Bay’s Jose Laboton hit his walk-off home run to beat Boston. As usual with all walk-off home runs there is a tunnel of players at home plate to pound him on the back as he runs the gauntlet to touch home. Then the players gather into a 25 man group hug, jumping up and down together like soccer fans on meth.
I thought how odd it was. In the old days, the player who hit the game winning homer was met at home with handshakes, but not the whole team, more than likely the hand shake came from the on deck batter and whoever else straggled out. The team usually waited near the dugout. Not much hugging though.
The same activity, though a bit more chaotic, happens when a team like the Dodgers, later in the night, wins the division series and advances to the championship series. They also like to pound each others backs, give hugs, and jump up and down like those meth head soccer nuts. I remember when the Dodgers won the 1965 World Series against the Twins (I was a mere child). Comparing the Dodgers win over the Braves in the NLDS and the 65 Dodgers, you would never know the 65 team just won the World Series. The smiles were all the same, but the body language has certainly changed.
I forget which player from days earlier than the 60’s said, you have to have a lot of boy in you to play baseball. (I think it was Don Newcombe). Certainly true of todays players who act like little boys when a home run ends the game or their team wins the World Series or league championship. It is not meant as derogatory. I find it ironic because today’s players make more money then players in olden times. It means millionaires celebrating like today’s players do, is an indication that money has not jaded them. They act like the little boys in themselves, as if the are back in little league.
Teams used to celebrate in their clubhouse, now they do it on the field. Nothing wrong with any of it, but, to be honest, it is getting redundant. Some team needs to bring into existence the next evolutionary act of celebrating. Maybe winning players jumping into the stands and hugging fans, kissing babies, and posing for twitter pics. I like it.