Smoke devices. Lasers. Dim lights. Beating music. Dancing dishes.
The New York Mets, who won first place, are celebrating their wins this season with dance parties in a darkened Mets clubhouse, with the lights turned off and a spotlight for anyone who wants to dance and dance after a win. Smoke machines spit a steady stream of fog across the clubhouse and lasers beam bright colors onto the locker room dance floor.
“It’s kind of like a club,” JD Davis said.
No victory is too big or too small. The party is as difficult for a resounding victory as it is for a departure.
The playlist varies during these mini dance parties. Sometimes it’s Blasterjaxx & Timmy Trumpet’s Narco, now well known as Edwin Diaz’s heart-pounding entrance music, that blares through the clubhouse speakers. Other times the music is the dealer’s choice.
“Baseball itself, a major league win, we should celebrate every major league win because here it’s tough,” Davis said. “It’s hard to win a game. So enjoy it. I’m not saying go party and stuff like that, but take those 10-15 minutes and enjoy it.
Mets players line up in the locker room and voice who they think was the player and pitcher of the game. They talk about the highlights of a win; Friday night meant appreciating that the Mets came back from three different deficits in their 4-3 win over the Phillies. They highlight the character of key players in a given game, especially the little moments that may be forgotten after the final release.
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Friday night’s starting hero Michael Conforto credited Francisco Lindor with bringing some of those celebratory elements to his playoff run with the Indians in 2016. Davis said the Astros used to reward the player of the match with a cape. Now the Mets are giving their player of the match a WWE belt to wear during their post-game celebration.
“We take the time to recognize every part of a win,” Conforto said. “There are all kinds of things we highlight to make everyone feel like they were part of this winning effort. We do it every time we win.
The idea of having a party in the Mets clubhouse after every win was actually introduced before the 2020 season. Former manager Carlos Beltran bought the team smoke machines and lasers to pump the atmosphere, but they were never used for two reasons. First, the Mets cut ties with Beltran over his involvement in the Astros sign-stealing scandal before he even managed a game. And two, the Mets are pretty sure Yoenis Cespedes took the smoke machines and lasers with him when he retired from the 2020 season.
“I think Cespedes took them,” Davis said with a laugh. “Last year, I was wondering where the lasers are and everything? And people were like, ‘Uhhh, I think Cespedes took them home to Florida.’ And I was like, ‘What?!’ »
Even Cespedes couldn’t kill the Mets party, so they started again this season. They bought new smoke machines and lasers, reintroduced the WWE belt, dimmed the lights, blasted the music, boosted their good spirits and celebrated their victories.
Of course, the Mets eclipsed 40 wins in their first 72 games — the fastest they’ve reached that mark since 2010 — not just on camaraderie. But the good humor and neutral attitude, an approach manager Luis Rojas credited the team’s mental coach Josh Lifrak with introducing him to the team, certainly helped. Mets players are all business after the first pitch, and that’s led to a comfortable five-game lead in the NL East nearly halfway through the 2021 season.
The party begins when the game is over.