Thanks, Red Sox! MLB to consider a ban on alcohol in the clubhouse

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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.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.