The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched a postseason berth for the ninth consecutive season with their win on Tuesday night and although there wasn’t a raucous celebration on the field, the team gathered together in the clubhouse to recognize it.
“It never gets old. We did a little champagne toast, said a few words and acknowledged the fact that it’s a big accomplishment,” manager Dave Roberts said.
“You don’t ever want to get jaded and not appreciate getting to the postseason, because it’s not a right of passage. So we acknowledged that and also acknowledged we’ve got a lot of work to do and this is just the beginning.
“I just think we’ve gone through a lot of things, so initially it was to let them know what they’ve accomplished to get to this point. There’s a lot of sacrifices, a lot of guys pitching in and picking each other up. Coaches, front office, training staff, scouting, player development, it takes a whole army to get this thing moving in the right direction.
“There’s a lot of people that should be very proud. To be able to accomplish this in front of the home fans was certainly special. It’s just kind of threading the needle on appreciating it, enjoying the moment but being ready to play a ballgame because there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Justin Turner, who said before Tuesday’s matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks that he was both unaware of the possibility of clinching a spot in the MLB postseason and how the team may celebrate it, was among those to address players in the clubhouse.
“We got the guys together, did a little toast, I said a few words, Doc said a few words, and enjoyed the moment,” Turner revealed. “At the same time, we know there’s still a lot of work ahead of us and a lot to be accomplished.
“So we enjoyed the moment, congratulated everyone and started to get ready for [Wednesday]. … I genuinely had no idea or didn’t realize we had an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot today. It’s something that definitely shouldn’t be taken for granted.
“I played on a team in New York that never had the opportunity to make the playoffs, and we have other guys that have been in other organizations and haven’t gotten there, or a few guys over here that this was their first time.
“So wanted to recognize it and make sure guys know it’s not something that you take lightly, enjoy it and appreciate it, but at the same time our focus is on us and taking care of what’s in front of us.”
While the Dodgers officially will be playing October baseball, what exactly that entails is not yet finalized. They could win the National League West for a ninth straight year, but still trail the San Francisco Giants by 2.5 games.
At minimum, the Dodgers figure to play a Wild Card Game at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers rookies celebrate
While Turner and several other players on the Dodgers roster have been part of multiple postseason celebrations, the 2021 roster features rookies who have not yet been as fortunate.
“I think that’s something that was the driver with the champagne toast and also a little bit of a celebration,” Roberts said.
“When Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Justin Turner say you can’t take this for granted, although those guys have had the opportunity to do this many times over, but the Vesias, the Bickford, the Bruihls, all these different guys that haven’t had that opportunity, this is special.
“They were a big part of this, so for us to acknowledge it and have a little fun in there, it was good. I think they enjoyed it.”
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