FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A day after Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told his team that there would be no alcohol in the clubhouse or on plane trips returning to Boston from road games, starting pitcher Josh Beckett told WEEI.com that the decision was of little consequence to him.
"I don't get paid to make those decisions," said Beckett in the JetBlue Park home clubhouse Sunday afternoon. "It doesn't matter to me."
Announcing the new rule Saturday, Valentine cited his decision not to have alcohol in the Mets' clubhouse during his time as manager for New York from 1996-2002. Red Sox DH David Ortiz said Saturday regarding the mandate, "It doesn’t matter. We’re not here to drink; we’re here to play baseball. This ain’t no bar."
The Red Sox are the 19th team in Major League Baseball to ban alcohol in the clubhouse.
When asked in October by WEEI.com about the talk of potentially banning alcohol in the clubhouse early in the offseason, Tampa Bay manager said Joe Maddon offered a pointed opinion.
"I'm not into knee-jerk reactions. 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," he said. "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 the teams 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."
For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.
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