Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, speaking from his Huntington Beach, Calif. home Wednesday, strongly criticized the idea that beer needed to be banned from clubhouses in Major League Baseball, calling such a move "asinine."
MLB vice-president Joe Torre had intimated at the World Series that MLB may look into banning beer from clubhouses following the controversy surrounding accusations that Red Sox pitchers drank during games throughout the 2011 season. Torre did go on radio in New York Wednesday to say no change would be made, stating that MLB would allow the clubs to dictate their own policies regarding the matter.
Even the thought of the alteration, however, infuriated Maddon.
"I'm not into knee-jerk reactions," the Rays manager told WEEI.com. "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. Let's bring the Volstead Act back, OK. Let's go right back to prohibition and start legislating everything all over again. All that stuff pretty much annoys me, as you can tell."
Maddon, whose team is one of 13 in Major League Baseball to allow beer in the clubhouse, said that players at the big league level should be allowed to regulate themselves in regard to such activities as the use of beer in the clubhouse.
"I don't understand any of that. Do we sell beer in the ballpark? These people who attend the games have a much greater chance of becoming drunk by the time they leave than a baseball player does," he said. "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. If they want to start pulling beers out of clubhouses they better start pulling them out of ballparks, too, because that's a higher percentage chance of something going awry.
"I'm not a big rules guy. Whenever you start enforcing the rule thing, and when you start regulating too much and take it out of their own hands … they're not babies. These guys are old enough to understand. These guys are grown-ups and why would I attempt to regulate their behavior? What I talk to my guys about is right and wrong and I have a sign in my clubhouse that says, 'Integrity has no need of rules.' And I believe that. I believe if you give your guys the freedom to make the right choices and talk to them about it … Of course they're going to screw up. I'm going to screw up, we're all going to screw up. But at the end of the day if you handle it in that manner you have a chance for it to become more permanent and more accepted and it becomes part of your culture in a good way."
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