Report: MLB to Ban Alcohol from Clubhouse Playoff Celebrations Amid COVID-19

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2020

Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki, left, pours champagne on teammate Stephen Strasburg as they celebrate after winning a National League wild-card baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, in Washington. Washington won 4-3. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Major League Baseball will forbid players from drinking alcohol during clubhouse celebrations in the regular season and postseason as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

The league will also ask players to wear masks during on-field celebrations if possible.

It's common in baseball for players and staff to take part in excessive celebrations in the clubhouse after clinching a playoff spot or advancing to the next round of the playoffs, with most events featuring champagne and beer. However, MLB is looking for more restraint in 2020.

The changes come amid a season in which there will be more opportunities for teams to celebrate. An expanded playoff will give 16 teams a postseason berth, while eight of them will then win at least one series.

The eventual World Series champion will have won four playoff rounds on top of clinching a playoff spot and potentially a division title.

It comes on the heels of a report that the majority of the postseason will be held at neutral locations without fans in attendance, per Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.

These rule changes could put a damper on what would be an exciting couple of months for one team.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the closest to clinching a playoff spot with a magic number of four, per ESPN. At 33-14, they also hold a 2.5-game lead over the San Diego Padres in the NL West.