“I heard you shot your players down… shot ’em down to the ground.”
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – If the Jimi Hendrix thing doesn’t get through to Joe Torre – and we know it won’t – we’ll try sitting him down to watch Boardwalk Empire. Maybe then Prohibition Joe will see that nothing good can come from sending us back to the days of… Prohibition. And maybe then, just maybe, he’ll avoid the unthinkable by committing baseball blasphemy: Banning Booze In The Clubhouse.
Here’s the skinny… The Boston Red Sox collapse and the world is turned upside down. Inbred Irish-American Southies, start burning ticket stubs and scrutiny Boston angst gets the best of bird-brained Jon Lester, who admits that he and a few of the other pitchers – starters that were off – headed into the clubhouse for rally beers. That’s the John Krukx of the whole frogging tile mess. That’s it. These guys weren’t Doc Ellis on LSD, actually throwing pitches that could kill somebody. Hell, they weren’t even Keith Hernandez, who in Game Six of the WORLD SERIES went into the clubhouse, popped open a can of Bud, puffed a Marlboro and then had to race back into the dugout as his teammates rallied for the most storied comeback in baseball World Series history!
How come nobody game a rat’s ass about banning booze after the Mets collapsed not once, but twice!? You know why? Because those teams were so tightly wound that nobody dared chug a brewski. If they had, they’d have won. Maybe Kevin Millar and the Cowboy Up Crew should rally at Faneuil Hall and remind Boston and all of baseball that this is a game, not a corporate mandate.
See, we like characters. We like Matt Stairs and David Wells and John Kruk. But this is today. And today has us in a time in baseball in which owners and GMs are walking on eggshells because of the messes they created in our national pastime. Suddenly, they want company men, choir boys that that don’t exist, to help erase the years of cocaine abuse that ruined the likes of Doc Gooden, Darryl Strawberry and the less fortunate Ken Caminiti. They want a bunch of Orel Hershishers that say and do the right things, to help distance themselves from the dark cloud of Performance Enhancing Drugs that Roger Clemens, Jose Canseco, Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, Andy Pettitte and Mike Stanton helped waft over baseball. WAIT A MINUTE. Each one of those guys played for… Drum Roll… Prohibition Joe Torre! And don’t think for a second that a manager and an owner don’t know EVERYTHING that goes on in a MLB clubhouse.
Speaking of Joes, what do you think Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio would say to Torre about not being able to sip a beer in the clubhouse? How about Joe Morgan? Hell, even “Super Joe” Charboneau, who had a dream-like cup of coffee with Cleveland, was liked more for his opening beer bottles with his eye socket and drinking beer through his nose as he was for hitting homers. Joe Niekro would have given him a KNUCKLE sandwich.
Joes aside, what the the frogging tile would Tough Guy Torre say to Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle? You know he’d get punched right in his big fat, W.C. Fields-meets-Jimmy Durante nose by Billy Martin. Even Joe Maurer likes a beer after the game – and he’s a Company Man.
Banning booze in the clubhouse will not be the end. If it goes through, it’s only a matter of time before some drunk – probably a Red Sox fan, falls from the Green Monster during a nationally televised game. That’s when frogging hypocrite Torre’s game-dulling precedent will force the MLB Big Wigs to play the hand Prohibition Joe dealt us all – Banning booze at baseball games.
That will go over big at Anheuser-Busch Stadium and Miller Park. And what will become of Bernie The Brewer?
“Hey, Joe.. Where You Goin’ With That Ban In Your Hand?“
Different Matt, tomorrow.
Meanwhile, here’s a Happy Baseball Moment: A Rugby Legend Talking NY Sports: