Major League Baseball is planning to consider whether there should be a ban on alcohol in clubhouses. MLB executive Joe Torre has been tasked to investigate the issue and will prepare a recommendation to commissioner Bud Selig.
"Should our players, who are multimillionaire athletes, be drinking during games — something that isn't even allowed in the majority of slow-pitch, rec league softball leagues around the country?" said Torre. "Who can say? It's a tough decision."
The issue has gained attention in recent weeks with reports that several Boston Red Sox players drank during games this season. But Torre and other baseball officials fear that cracking down on in-game beer and spirits could hurt the growth of the sport.
"If we declare that our players can't drink during games, our sport will suddenly become less alluring to out-of-shape guys who like to get hammered," said Selig. "They'll quit baseball and play sports like fishing, bowling, golf or auto racing."
Baseball is the only one of the major sports that doesn't ban its players from drinking during games. It also has no rules against bringing sandwiches onto the field, against napping in the outfield or against rubbing one out in the on-deck circle.
"Would I prefer guys don't wank it on the on-deck circle? Sure," said Torre. "But baseball players have many superstitions. You take beer out of baseball, you take sleeping out of baseball, you take masturbation out of baseball … what do you really have left?"
Torre said he will give more thought to the issue tomorrow.
"Because right now I have a pretty good buzz going," he said.