Kazmir, who is the Rays' scheduled starter for Thursday afternoon's game against the Tigers, said it felt kind of weird to be leaving the team with the possibility out there that his team could be celebrating winning the American League East on Wednesday night if the Rays win against the Orioles and the Red Sox lose to the Indians.
"Yeah, it's tough, but you've got to do what's best for the team," said Kazmir, who tried to convince the Rays to let him stay. "We used a lot of our pitchers the last couple of days, so it's just the best thing we need to do."
By leaving early, Kazmir won't have to wait to take the team charter after the game that should get the team to Detroit in the early morning hours of Thursday. The Rays then play the Tigers in a 1:05 ET contest.
Kazmir smiled when asked how he would celebrate in Detroit if the Rays do manage to clinch.
"I have no idea -- jump up and down on the bed in the hotel room," Kazmir said. "Oh well, I've told everyone to save me a bottle of champagne."
If the game is not on TV in Detroit, the left-hander planned to watch via his computer.
"I'll be online, watching little batters," Kazmir said.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.