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Big League Stew

Reporting tobacco use by ballplayers is now just an easy online form away

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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Gotcha, Prince! (Getty)

Under the terms of baseball's new collective bargaining agreement, big league ballplayers, managers and coaches will no longer allowed to use chewing tobacco during televised interviews, autograph signings and team-sponsored events.

They are also not allowed to carry any tobacco packaging in their uniforms on the field — which eliminates any need to explain to your inquisitive eight-year-old that his favorite pitcher is carrying a tin and not a hockey puck in his back pocket.

And lest you think that policing over 700 ballplayers a day in 15 different cities is an impossible challenge, Hardball Talk writes about a group that's planning to remain vigilant in pressuring Major League Baseball to enforce its own rules.

Yup, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids hopes that fans clicking turnstiles and watching from home will report any violations they see during the season. They've even created a handy-dandy online form that includes fields for the player's name, the game they attended or watch and even a place to submit pictures or screenshots of the tobacco use.

(It unfortunately does not include any place to report sightings of your favorite ballplayer stumbling out of his local watering hole and toward his vehicle.)

This is a noble effort, I suppose, and anyone familiar with ridiculous FCC complaints will recognize there's no shortage of people in this country willing to blow a whistle instead of doing any actual parenting.

But there's also just a few holes in the whole thing.

For one, I assume there's any number of Pirates fans currently reporting that they saw Roy Halladay offering young Phillies fans enough tobacco to kill Lenny Dykstra, just so they won't have to face him on opening day.

For another, since these complaints aren't actually being fielded by the league, where does the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids plan to send them all?

Probably this guy's desk.

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Make sure you're ready for opening day ...
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