Morosi feels that Major League Baseball should prohibit the consumption of all alcohol in the clubhouse after home games. Morosi leads into his article by talking about the alcohol abuse by Miguel Cabrera and then drops this bombshell:
A universal ban on alcohol in major league clubhouses is long overdue. Until every team removes beer from the working quarters of its employees, each day on the baseball schedule will include the most unsettling of possibilities – that alcohol consumed in a clubhouse could contribute to injury or death on the road.
I struggle to think of a good reason why baseball clubhouses should be viewed differently than all the other workplaces where alcohol is forbidden. The NFL gets this. Roger Goodell has a simple, easy-to-remember policy: If you’re in the locker room, bus or airplane of an NFL team, you can’t drink. Period. It’s time for Major League Baseball to do the same thing, rather than continue leaving the decision to individual teams.
First off, it’s unfair to compare our sport to the NFL. That isn’t apples to apples. Do we have World Series Media Day? No. Two different leagues, two different grinds, and two different types of individuals who play the sport.
We’ll say this: drinking in the clubhouse, (and we don’t mean pounding shots of Old Granddad or Jim Beam); but having a few cold beers after the game is as much of a part of this game’s rich tradition as Cracker Jack’s and the 7th inning stretch.
Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris washed down a few suds after every game in that great 1961 season. The Godfather of this game, Babe Ruth; was known for his love of the ales. When Mark McGwire hit that mammoth homerun at the former Jacobs Field back in the late 1990’s, what sign did he hit it off of? A Budweiser sign.
You can try to ignore it, but alchohol–and more specifically–beer and baseball have been joined in holy matrimony for a long time now. This is not like the NFL breaking up that marriage
When I go to the ballgame, I smell the beer. It’s the first thing that hits my nostrils that lets me know that I’m in a big league venue. I don’t always partake, but there’s nothing that creates the atmosphere like a cheap beer and being at a Major League Stadium.
Major League clubhouses aren’t a lot different really. The men who grew up playing this great game are usually of the good ol’ boy make-up. They hit homers. They get their hands dirty. They drink a few beers. I was a ballplayer and that’s what came with the territory. I didn’t have a choice, the other 35 guys I played with in college were the exact same way.
Look at the teams who allow alcohol consumption in the clubhouse after home games: Braves, Reds, Indians, Tigers, Angels, Brewers, Rays, and Rangers.
The following teams prohibit alcohol consumption in the clubhouse after home games: A’s, Diamondbacks, Orioles, Rockies, Astros, Dodgers, Twins, Mets, Pirates, Cardinals, Nationals.
The following teams declined to say what their clubhouse policy was or did not respond: Red Sox, Cubs, White Sox, Marlins, Royals, Yankees, Phillies, Padres, Giants, Mariners, Blue Jays. Aka, it goes on.
By the time these guys reach the big leagues, they’re adults. They’re certainly being paid like adults. They’re doing adult things, they’re leaving the ballpark to go to adult establishments, and they’re going to probably get into adult activity that is a little more harmless then drinking a few beers while talking to their favorite, friendly home news reporter.
To take away this fraternization after home games for all MLB players would be pretty silly really. They’re going to find that fun elsewhere if it’s not in the clubhouse. And then they might be throwing back shots.
Once again, they’re adults. They all should know that to get completely banged up in the clubhouse after ‘work’ and try and drive home is a major no-no. Many of them have families waiting for them anyway, so having that beer or two is no different then many of you having a glass of wine after work to wind down.
Other’s have very strict workout regimens and simply won’t allow themselves to pound six to twenty beers after a game.
This is a fun part of baseball that should remain relaxed. There are enough rules. This is not the National Football League. There are other parts of our sport that should try and model itself after the NFL. The boys having a few big boy pops after playing 9 hard innings is not one of them.