October 03, 2011
That will teach beer vendor Steve Lazarus to get jocular with the jocks.
No doubt under pressure by Major League Baseball's fraternization police, the New York Yankees recently threw down the dragnet on Lazarus, who got a little too chummy with the team's oldest and most-hated rival.
Huh. And I thought for sure they would cite an unsuspecting player on the 40-man roster for falling victim to one of Big Papi's pyramid hugging schemes.
Instead, the Yankees suspended a long-time beer vendor for "harassing" Boston Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves(notes) between games of a recent doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. As a result, Lazarus missed the first two games of the ALDS against the Detroit Tigers, costing himself anywhere from $400 to 600, along with some of his dignity.
Lazarus, 53, also works as a stand-up comedian when he's not vending, but he wasn't laughing after being humiliated and punished for doing, he says, nothing wrong.
Lazarus was standing with co-workers near a freight elevator on the terrace level when they heard the clacketty clack of cleats on the floor. They knew a player was coming and Lazarus recognized Aceves, who used to pitch for the Yankees. This is what Lazarus told the New York Post happened:
[Lazarus] walked over and playfully called out, "Hey, you got ID?"
Without missing a beat, Aceves grabbed his crotch and shot back, "I got your ID right here."
Everyone roared with laughter ... except for the team suits.
Lazarus, who has been vending since he was 19 — that's 35 years — was called to the carpet by a supervisor during the game.
"He said, 'You were harassing the opposing team's player.'
"I said, 'Are you kidding?' "
Lazarus told the Post that his badge was taken and he was escorted from the stadium "like a common criminal."
"Are you kidding?" is right.
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If his account is complete — what the heck, Evil Empire? Every once in a while MLB will tout its policy about fraternization; league honcho and former Yankees skipper Joe Torre will say something cranky about how the players did it back in his day. And then it will die. The Yankees, apparently, needed to find someone they could punish for speaking with the enemy. Hey, by the way, look who Lazarus has met:
Did you hear the one about the stupid baseball team that did something stupid?
Big BLS h/t: Yardbarker
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