On the heels of the Boston Red Sox disastrous 7-20 finish and blown wild-card lead, the stories of beer drinking in their clubhouse quickly spread like wildfire. The beer drinking by members of the Red Sox starting rotation has been used as the scapegoat for the monumental collapse.
Not only accused of drinking beer, pitchers Jon Lester, John Lackey and Josh Beckett reportedly played video games and ate fried chicken during games. To me, accusing adults of drinking beers sounds just as silly or asinine as the attempt to blame fried chicken and video games.
The clubhouse drinking story still has not gone away as MLB vice-president Joe Torre had to seriously consider banning beer in all major league clubhouses. He ended up leaving the decision to each individual franchise to incorporate their own restrictions.
In response to all the attention the clubhouse drinking is getting, the Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon spoke to WEEI.com on Thursday and had this to say,
If somebody had all of these wonderful thoughts prior to this happening I may be more on board with it, or more empathetic to it. But all of this knee-jerk stuff that occurs in our game absolutely drives me crazy. If you want to be proactive about some thoughts, go ahead, be proactive and I’m all for that. But to say a grown-up can’t have a beer after a game? Give me a break. That is, I’m going to use the word, ‘asinine,’ because it is.
Maddon's view on the drinking ban being asinine is right on par. These are grown men we're talking about doing something they are rightfully allowed to do. This isn't illegal drugs we're talking about, it's alcohol. Many players attest to having a "rally beer" at some time in their careers. If we were talking about position players who may be called on to pinch hit or run, then sure, that's wrong. After all this is their job, so we are talking about drinking a beer during work.
I can totally see that point, but at the same time the only players accused were starting pitchers. These guys work every fifth day, they know they aren't going to be called upon in the regular season and mess up the team's rotation. If they were to get called in, it wouldn't be unexpectedly. It's not as if these guys were out there throwing heaters with a buzz.
At the end of the day, all the media's intrusion into this issue caused Torre to examine the situation and possibly ban beer from clubhouses. The decision would have nullified the opportunity to enjoy a beer after the game and essentially would have been done to stop a guy from having a beer on his day off. This apparently would have pushed the limit for Maddon.
Most of the time if you have a beer after the game, it’s one, maybe two, and that’s it. I have a glass of wine. I defend there’s not a thing wrong with that.
The Red Sox had a big letdown, whenever that happens there are fingers pointed and blame passed. As for the between start beers shared by Beckett, Lackey and Lester, they were the least of the Red Sox problems. Maybe it was the fried chicken.