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Clinching the Division: 5 Ways to Celebrate

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There are a lot of tight battles for postseason play in the American League: the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees are all tied up in the East, the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers are separated by only one game in the Central, and the Texas Rangers have a narrow three game lead on the Oakland Athletics in the West. In the National League, teams are beginning to breathe a bit easier as the Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants are all up more than seven games on their second place rivals.

Regardless of whether your team is coolly sauntering into the playoffs or clawing for every win to make it to the top, the regular season is winding down and it's not too early to think about celebrating a certain level of success. Magic Numbers are dwindling, and before you know it divisions will be clinched. If and when your team does manage to earn the honor of being their division's champion, here are five ways to celebrate:

Purchase Tickets for the Postseason

What better way to celebrate than to buy tickets and be there to cheer on your team in the playoffs. These tickets tend to disappear quickly, so don't dally. You will find a form to fill out to register for a lottery for the opportunity to buy postseason tickets on your team's website.

Show Your Team Pride Around Town

Sure, you wear team shirt often, but the day they clinch the division title, why not go for a bit more? Put on a ball cap, match your pants and socks to the team colors - temporarily tattoo the team logo on your cheek. Then hit the town. Let people see your excitement, and maybe they will catch some of it.

Talk Some Smack

Once you clinch the division, you have the right to gloat a bit. It's not obnoxious; it's part of being a sports fan. Have fun ribbing those whose teams have not been quite as successful this year, but don't take it too far - what goes around may come back around to haunt you some day.

Plan a Playoff Party

The Super Bowl doesn't have a monopoly on sports related parties. Plan to have some friends over to watch the division series and put out an array of baseball snacks. Hot Dogs are a must - you can do a toppings bar so people can load up their dogs the way they like them. Pick up some cupcakes or cookies decorated like baseballs from a local bakery. Then kick back, relax, and enjoy the game on your couch with food and friends.

Outfit the Entire Family in Team Gear

You no doubt already have some basic team gear because you are a fan, but what about your spouse, your kids, or your dog? What better time to stock up and flaunt your family's fanmanship than when you are on top of the division? It's a great time to bring your kids into the loop and solidify their support for the hometown team.

Standings, mlb.com

Lisa Stewart is a married mother of two living in the suburbs of Cincinnati . She is a long-time Reds fans yet was away at college when the 1990 Cincinnati Reds won the World Series and was not able to attend games or celebrate appropriately. She looks forward to the day when the Reds win it all again.

Follow Lisa on Twitter: @lisa0606

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