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Detroit Tigers links: MLB looking to end epic champagne celebrations

Where's the fun in that?

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The year was 2006. The Detroit Tigers were headed to the playoffs for the first time in 19 years. They hadn’t won a playoff series in 22 years. It was only three years ago that they had lost a franchise-record 119 games. They lost the first playoff game against the New York Yankees, but rallied back to win the next three games, the clincher on their own home turf. They had beaten the odds and defeated the team everyone expected to win. Let the celebration begin!

And boy, did they celebrate. They decided to involve the fans by rushing back on the field, champagne spraying and all. It is one of my fondest memories of being a Tigers fan. The image of Kenny Rogers pouring champagne on the police officer will be embedded in my mind forever. The celebration lasted about 20 minutes and it was all caught on national television.

Anyone under the drinking age at that time would have seen the Tigers win their first playoff series for the first time in their lifetime. And that’s part of the problem. MLB has a policy against teams spraying fans because of minors in the stands. Like the Tigers in 2006, this has been commonplace for teams in years, most recently when the New York Mets clinched their World Series appearance and manager Terry Collins was spraying fans, including minors.

This brings up an interesting debate. Should MLB have stronger enforcing on this rule or should they mellow out a bit? If the 2006 Tigers had not involved the crowd like they did, their celebration wouldn’t have been as epic as it was.

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