Banning Beer = Missing the Point
There has been some interesting discussion in the wake of the the tragic death of Josh Hancock about banning beer from clubhouses, and once again, we think that baseball is acting hypocritical and missing the point.
First of all, Josh Hancock was not on his way from the Cardinals clubhouse when he got into the fatal crash. Reports are that he was leaving one bar, and on his way to another, at around midnight local time. He was also speeding, and talking on his cell phone at the time of the crash, again, according to reports. In other words, Hancock made some poor decisions, and ended up paying dearly for his carelessness. But let us not blame Hancock completely for making these bad decisions, when his own manager is not exactly setting the best example.
The point is this: Having a beer in the clubhouse after a game is not causing players to get into crashes, and more importantly, preventing beer from being consumed in the clubhouse is not going to stop players from driving drunk. There is a growing trend among pro athletes (and coaches, and managers) of getting behind the wheel after having too much to drink. To solve this, sports leagues have to do a better job of educating players, coaches, and managers on the dangers of drunk driving. It seems inconceivable to us that professional sports figures cannot afford to buy drinks and pay for cab rides, when we ourselves do it almost every weekend on our salaries.
Not only that, but banning beer from visitors' clubhouses, when almost all players leave visiting ballparks on team buses or walk to nearby hotels, would seem like a ban for its own sake. You know what would make more sense and may turn out to be more effective? Suspensions and fines for DUI/DWI arrests. Banning beers from the clubhouse would be a completely symbolic move and would ignore the real problem, the education and awareness of the players.
We also think that it is interesting that a team that plays its home games at Busch Stadium now wants to separate itself from beer.