October 23, 2011
ARLINGTON, Texas — Overreact much? Joe Torre said on Sunday that Major League Baseball is considering a league-wide ban on beer in the clubhouse in the wake of the huge fallout from the Boston Red Sox's "beer and fried chicken" report.
"You've got to make them understand why there are rules,'' MLB's vice president told reporters here at Rangers Ballpark before Game 4 of the World Series. "I want people to understand the nature if we do ban alcohol from clubhouses. We're supposed to be role models for youngsters.''
A few points here:
• Major League Baseball is really going to ban beer in the clubhouse because the Red Sox came up one game short in the race for the postseason? The league currently leaves the decision up to each team. Even if we make the stretch to say that guys like John Lackey(notes), Jon Lester(notes) and Josh Beckett(notes) were being irresponsible in drinking in the clubhouse, why punish the rest of the players who are being responsible about it?
• If Lackey thought he was unpopular now, wait until ballplayers start seeing him as one of the the reasons they can't have beer in the clubhouse.
• As a few people pointed out on Twitter: If MLB really wanted to crack down on alcohol abuse and stress the importance of being good role models, why not start actually punishing all the players who get busted for DUIs?
• Each clubhouse celebration this postseason has been sponsored by Budweiser and two of the final four teams played in ballparks named for beer companies. Nope, no hypocrisy there. None at all.
• A lot of people will probably agree with Torre by saying "I can't drink at my work, either." To that, I counter that most places of employment probably doesn't require you to travel all across the country for six months, give you a handful of days off during that time and require your presence from early afternoon until late at night. The baseball clubhouse is really their home away from home in the summer months and thousands of baseball players have cracked open a cold one after a tight game without incident. Banning it for all because some media members and fans aren't as libertarian in their thinking seems like a huge reach here.
• Somewhere, a single tear rolls down the cheek of Don Draper.
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