Should alcohol be banned from all MLB clubhouses?
Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss the topic -- join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.
Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times
Yes, I do think alcohol should be banned from all clubhouses, and frankly, I'm not sure why baseball didn't take such action after Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed in an automobile accident that was caused by a drunk driver in 2009. What if a player drank too much in the clubhouse after a game and caused a fatal accident on the way home? By removing alcohol from the clubhouse, baseball teams would eliminate any liability in such matters. If players want to drink after games, let them do it on their own time and on their own dime.
Plus, I'm guessing that Texas Rangers star Josh Hamilton is not the only major leaguer who has struggled or is struggling with an addiction to alcohol. Removing alcohol from the clubhouse would show a sensitivity to such players and help curb or eliminate the temptation for them to drink while at the park.
Let’s see, I can’t watch a baseball game on TV or attend one in person without seeing some sort of alcohol advertisement, and I have the right to pay up to $7.25 to enjoy an adult beverage while sitting in my favorite stadium to enjoy a game. Yet because of a few misfits in a clubhouse where it appears anarchy reigned, Joe Torre says Major League Baseball might consider an alcohol ban in clubhouses.
Torre says one consideration for the ban is that baseball players “should be role models for the youngsters” (yeah, like we haven’t heard that before). If that’s the case, maybe baseball should boot booze from the stands and advertising as well.
Like that would ever happen.
Teams simply need to get a tighter rein on their clubhouses. An outright ban is an overreaction to what still smells of a New England witch hunt.
Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune
Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey acted like fraternity boys in denial during midterms while the Red Sox season was getting away from them. Now they’re about to become pariahs -– the guys who took the beer out of the clubhouse.
Major League Baseball is considering an alcohol ban in the workplace. I can’t work up the same righteous indignation over when Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock was killed in a 2007 car accident after a night of drinking that started with post-game beer in his clubhouse, but I also can’t make the counter-argument. I’ll let someone else talk about personal liberties.
Alcohol in the workplace seems like a bad idea, no matter whether it’s a tradition in baseball or not. If Joe Torre and Bud Selig are serious about bringing MLB into step with just about every other business in America, bless them. Just don’t take away the fried chicken that the three Red Sox stooges were having with their in-game entertainment.
Steve Gould, Baltimore Sun
If I were in the Red Sox front office, I’d be more worried about my pitchers chowing down on all that fattening fast-food fried chicken than swilling beer, but maybe that’s just me. To say nothing of playing video games. Haven’t they spoken to Tigers pitcher Joel Zumaya about the health risks of “Guitar Hero”?
As I’m sure you can tell, while I do think it’s a big problem that pitchers were horsing around in the clubhouse while they should have been in the dugout supporting their teammates, I don’t think the permissibility of alcohol in the clubhouse is all that important an issue.
Should it be banned? Probably -- it’s not like it serves any positive purpose to have your players drinking depressants, and the clubhouse is, after all, a workplace. Is it high on the list of changes that baseball needs to make? Not exactly.