Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Baltimore Sports Blitz

Sports Baltimore Sports Blitz

Orioles ahead of the curve on clubhouse beer ban

The big spring training story of the past few days comes not from the Orioles' winter home in Sarasota, Fla., but from down the road in Fort Myers, where news that the Boston Red Soxhave banned beer in the clubhouse seems to have everyone in a tizzy.

Pundits are pontificating about it, new manager Bobby Valentine is explaining it and the Red Sox players have been asked about it endlessly.

(A personal favorite quote from veteran slugger David Ortiz: "We're not here to drink. We're here to play baseball. This ain't no bar. If you want to drink, drink at home.")

This ain't no bar ... and yet at times last season, particularly in the late innings of games, Red Sox pitchers reportedly treated the clubhouse like a saloon, pounding a few beers and scarfing buckets of fried chicken while their teammates were out on the field, trying to win one for the Olde Towne Team.

News of these antics gave the Red Sox a horrible PR black eye over the winter -- hence Valentine's ban on alcohol in the clubhouse and on the last plane flight of road trips.

(No word on whether the club has banned fried chicken in the clubhouse, too. But it'll probably happen. Team trainers probably get more freaked out about players having high cholesterol levels than late-inning beer buzzes.)

If you're wondering about the Orioles policy on this matter, they've banned beer in the clubhouse for several years now, joining a bunch of other MLB teams that instituted a similar policy after the alcohol-related death ofSt. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock in 2007.

Hancock was reportedly drunk and talking on his cell phone when his rented SUV struck a parked tow-truck on the side of a highway in St. Louis.

In any event, it's just a matter of time before all MLB clubs institute a no-alcohol policy in the clubhouse. Allowing young ballplayers to get all beered-up in the clubhouse or on the flight home before they get behind the wheels of their Benzes and Escalades is a recipe for disaster.

Bobby Valentine hasn't managed a game yet. But he's already made the best move he could make.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Time-lapse from Orioles home opener

    Time-lapse from Orioles home opener

    Baseball returns to Camden Yards as the Orioles take on the Blue Jays in their home opener. (Christopher T. Assaf/Baltimor

  • Orioles in April

    Orioles in April

    Browse pictures of Orioles baseball games in April 2015.

  • Orioles Opening Day at Camden Yards

    Orioles Opening Day at Camden Yards

    Look through photos from Orioles Opening Day festivities at Camden Yards on April 10. The Orioles will face the Toronto Blue Jays in their 62nd home opener in Baltimore. 

  • Orioles player salaries for 2015

    Orioles player salaries for 2015

    With the 2015 baseball season just underway, USA Today has released its annual comprehensive list of player salaries. The publication gathers the data from "documents obtained from the MLB Players Association, club officials and filed with Major League Baseball's central office. Deferred payments...

  • All-Time Greatest Orioles

    All-Time Greatest Orioles

    In the six decades since they returned to the American League, 982 players have suited up for the Orioles. Who are the all-time best? Here are The Baltimore Sun's picks — six men at each position, except outfield and starting pitcher (nine apiece). We ranked the top six managers, too, from 1954...

  • Orioles Season Preview 2015

    Orioles Season Preview 2015

Comments
Loading

72°