This is why we can’t have nice things:
Joe Torre, MLB executive vice president of baseball operations, told reporters before Sunday’s Game 4 of the World Series that MLB is considering banning alcohol in clubhouses and that he plans to look deeper into the Sox’s drinking on the job.
Allow me to say this: I don’t have strong opinions one way or another about whether players should be allowed to have alcohol in the clubhouse. On the one hand, sure, ballplayers set examples and they need to be in shape and business and pleasure don’t always mix and all of that. On the other hand, even a lot of offices, depending on what line of work you’re in, allow people to crack a coldie a few minutes after the real work of the day winds down. I’m not going to go to the mat for anyone here — this is about a workplace rule, not about the Constitution or the great existential issues of the day — but I’m generally of the view that ballplayers are grownups and that as long as they’re not interfering with their work or doing anything to excess that it should be OK.
All of that said, is Joe Torre’s announcement yesterday anything other than a transparent PR thing? I mean, because if baseball really did take drinking seriously they might have considered this before, you know, a player died in a drunk driving accident or several others got DUIs. Rather, it’s a response to an embarrassing but crazy-overblown and generally inconsequential story coming out of the Red Sox’ late season collapse.
Why this stirs some sort of self-examination and so many other issues relating to baseball and alcohol haven’t is the question someone needs to ask Joe Torre. Because until he answers it, it’s really really hard to take him seriously here.
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.