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Clincher triggers Bosox party

The Red Sox made the first postseason-clinching celebration at Tropicana Field a wild one.

Unlike the Yankees, who basically shrugged securing a playoff spot when they beat the Rays on Thursday, the Red Sox went into full celebration mode after Monday night's win that guaranteed them at least the AL wild card, popping Korbel champagne bottles, smoking cigars and giving each other beer shampoos.

"It started out subdued and understated, I promise," general manager Theo Epstein said.

A few visiting teams have had the chance, but none had ever clinched at the Trop. (It hasn't been an issue on the home side.) Guy Gallagher's visiting clubhouse staff was prepared, moving furniture out in the hall and hanging plastic sheets over the TVs and in front of the lockers.

Like all teams, the Sox hope this is just the first of four celebrations they'll have over the next month. But, true to their frat-house mentality, they made the most of it.

"The funnest thing for me is watching them in there," manager Terry Francona said. "This is the beginning, and I think they feel that way, too. But I want them to have their fun."

"This is the first step," leftfielder Manny Ramirez said. "I think this is the year."

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