FORT MYERS, Fla. -- While the Red Sox were in Day 2 of full-squad workouts on Sunday, just 40 minutes to the north in Port Charlotte, Rays manager Joe Maddon fired the first real salvo of training camp, announcing why he plans to still allow beer in the clubhouse.
"We're not the Boston Red Sox," Maddon said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
That reaction is not entirely surprising. Maddon, a renown wine connoisseur, is known for his player-friendly style, allowing players to show character and personality. In the wake of the Red Sox' September collapse and the reports of beer drinking in the Sox' clubhouse, Maddon blasted the idea that the proper response would be for Boston to regulate alcohol consumption in the clubhouse.
"To say a grown-up can't have a beer after a game? Give me a break," Maddon told WEEI.com in October. "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."
On Sunday, he repeated his stance to the Times.
"I've said it a hundred times,'' Maddon said. "For me at the end of the day, I'd much prefer our players making good decisions, and if you're of legal age, and the game is over, and you've sweated and lost a bunch of pounds and you want to sit down and have a beer, I see nothing wrong with that.''
The Rays allow drinking on team flights at the start and during a road trip, but don't serve on flights coming returning home, a policy Bobby Valentine and Red Sox will implement this season.
As for serving fried chicken in the clubhouse?
"Depends if that's what they're serving that night,'' Maddon said. "It kind of goes well with it actually.''
After the "fried chicken and beer" debacle in the clubhouse last September, Valentine announced Saturday that he would not be allowing beer in his clubhouse, a policy practiced by a majority of major league clubs, and he would not be allowing beer on the final leg of plane rides back to Boston at the end of road trips.
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