So … If the Cubs Clinch a Wild Card Slot Tonight, Should They Do a Big Celebration?

Social Navigation

So … If the Cubs Clinch a Wild Card Slot Tonight, Should They Do a Big Celebration?

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

If you follow along with the “Scoreboard Watching” posts every morning, you’ll likely be well aware of the Cubs’ current chances in the NL Central.

But in case you’re not, it looks a little something like this:

Basically, any combination of five Brewers losses and/or Cubs wins leaves the Cubs with their third consecutive NL Central title (in other words, their magic number is 5). If it comes down to the tie-breaker scenario, a one-game playoff would be held at Wrigley Field to determine who would be heading straight to the NLDS and who would have to fight it out in a one-game Wild Card playoff. And if any of the “red” outcomes materialize, the Cubs will have lost the division in heartbreaking fashion.

But that doesn’t mean their playoff hopes would be over. In fact, the Cubs could clinch a playoff spot as soon as tonight. Because while their magic number for the division is 5, their magic number for the second Wild Card spot is just two. And that means a Cubs win + a Rockies loss tonight would be a clincher for the Cubs.

Woohoo! … Right? Eh, not so fast.

When asked whether the Cubs plan on celebrating a postseason clinch at Wrigley Field tonight (if it were to happen), Joe Maddon responded with a revealing reference to The Office:

Expanding on that at NBC Sports Chicago, Maddon said that while his team always celebrates achievement, he’s “been kinda avoiding that mentally.” At The Athletic, Patrick Mooney frames it more as an expectations versus reality thing. In other words, while clinching a postseason berth for the fourth consecutive season is great, the Cubs have their eyes on the real prize: the NL Central.

I think I agree with that mentality. Perhaps back in 2015 things would be different, but the Cubs are World Series Champions, back-to-back divisional winners, and holders of the best record in the National League. Clinching a Wild Card berth is nice (and perhaps relieving), but it is NOT the goal. The goal is the division. Let’s celebrate bigly when it happens.

Obviously, the risk is the Cubs clinch the Wild Card slot, lose the division, and never really get a chance to “celebrate,” but given the alternative (clinching in front of the Pirates or Cardinals *at Wrigley Field*), I think it’s worth that. But I’m sure it varies from fan to fan. At least the Cubs will do their normal-ish disco dance party either way, right?

So what do you think? Should the Cubs have a champaign celebration if they clinch a Wild Card berth tonight? Or would that be tone deaf given the intense battle in the Central?


Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is the butler to a wealthy werewolf off the coast of Wales and a writer at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami