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.