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.

Batting champion Luis Arraez beats Marlins in salary arbitration

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — AL batting champion Luis Arraez won his arbitration case and will get a $6.1 million salary from the Miami Marlins, who acquired the All-Star infielder from the Minnesota Twins last month.

Miami argued for $5 million during a hearing before John Stout, Mark Burstein and Scott Buchheit. Arraez received a raise from $2.2 million.

Marlins pitcher Jesus Luzardo went to a hearing and asked for a raise from $715,000 to $2.45 million, while Miami proposed $2.1 million. The case was heard by Stout, Melinda Gordon and Richard Bloch, who were expected to issue their decision.

Arraez hit .316 with eight homers, 49 RBIs and a .795 OPS last year for Minnesota, starting 61 games at first base, 34 at designated hitter and 31 at second. The 25-year-old was traded on Jan. 20 for starting pitcher Pablo Lopez and a pair of prospects: infielder Jose Salas and outfielder Byron Chourio.

Arraez is eligible for free agency after the 2026 season.

Luzardo, a 25-year-old left-hander, was 4-7 with a 3.32 ERA in 18 starts last year, striking out 120 and walking 35 in 100 1/3 innings. He is 13-18 with a 3.59 ERA in 45 starts and 16 relief appearances over four big league seasons.

Luzardo also is eligible for free agency after the 2026 season.

Seattle defeated Diego Castillo in the first salary arbitration decision this year, and the relief pitcher will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Twenty-two players remain scheduled for hearings, to take place through Feb. 17. Among them, utilityman Dylan Moore and the Seattle Mariners have a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.