There are few baseball people I enjoy more than Joe Maddon. I begrudgingly admire the manner in which he manages his club. He manages to be LaRussa without actually being LaRussa. He says many of the right things and projects an air of learned baseball man-come-aging hipster.
Unsurprisingly, I agree with much of what Maddon spewed when asked about MLB’s potentially removing the scourge that is beer in the clubhouse. Maddon succinctly describes this witch-hunt in one great word: “asinine.”
The loquacious Maddon didn’t stop there, he went ahead a served some steaming hot sense for all the Joe Torre knee-jerkers to lap up on their dying days. From WEEI:
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.
You GO Joe! You go on and you tell them how it is.
Maddon is smart enough to recognize the optical nightmare that is the annual Driving of the Drunk Jackasses in Florida each spring. He goes on the offensive with something uncomfortably true:
“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.
Umm, Joe. Joey. Love you, babe…but this isn’t a great way to get sympathy for you and your persecuted charges. Rather than going all “maybe it’s just society” on us, perhaps acknowledge that the players and baseball as a whole each have a role in getting to the root of the problem. Oh, wait. He did just that! (sort of)
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.’
Damn right, Joe. Though, your employees leaving AK-47s strew about your apartment and/or facing arrest for all manner of terrible behaviour suggests, just maybe, your message of integrity isn’t quite penetrating as deeply as you think.