Found February 26, 2012 on Mike Silva's New York Baseball Digest:

Why is the Red Sox decision to ban alcohol from the clubhouse a news story? It’s a rhetorical question since its Bobby Valentine’s first step in cleaning up the lax atmosphere that helped doom the Sox last September. I think Valentine’s response, however, tells you that this is a practice that is largely accepted around MLB.

“It’s just what I’ve already done, except for when I was in Texas, I guess,” Valentine said. “I’m comfortable with it that way.”

The Red Sox are the 19th team to implement the “no drinking in the clubhouse” rule.

“What would happen if they got traded to St. Louis? Would they refuse the trade? Or New York? Or one of the other 19 teams, or however many teams there are? I don’t know,” Valentine added. “I doubt it. I don’t know what kind of pushback you could get.”

I guess my question is what’s up with the other 11 teams? The clubhouse is a place of work where players are paid to prepare for the main event: the game that night. Considering the average big league salary is $3 million dollars, these are not low leverage retail clerks or part-time baggers.

Regardless, the clubhouse shouldn’t be any different than an office or other place of work. The grocery bagger or checkout clerk will lose their job if they have a bottle of Budweiser open while they perform their duties. Show up to work intoxicated anywhere and you will lose your job. Companies throughout the country have substance abuse rules that sometimes require you to take a drug test for employment. Drive a company vehicle or operate machinery and you may be subjected to random drug testing throughout your employment.

“We’re not here to drink,” said David Ortiz. “We’re here to play baseball. You know what I’m saying? This ain’t no bar. This is an organization, a place that needs a lot of athleticism. Alcohol has nothing to do with that. People have alcohol in their houses. If you want to drink it, drink at home.”

I have worked for companies that require drug tests anytime you get into an accident with a company vehicle. If you show up to a corporate event intoxicated or drink too much at said events, it can be grounds for termination.

Some of the purist will argue that baseball players drank beer and spit tobacco since the early days of the game. It’s a children’s game played by adults. Thousands of people drink beer while they play softball on Sunday’s during the summer. Times have changed and there is too much at stake in modern MLB.

The fact remains the Red Sox are a major company. Their employees are handsomely paid thanks to fans that shell out top-dollar for tickets to their games. It’s ok to have fun at team functions, the hotel or on your down time. The clubhouse should be about working out, focusing on the task at hand, and using the time as productively as possible to be the best at your craft as possible. Alcohol doesn’t help anyone be productive at anything. Remember, these guys aren’t playing the game for fun; it’s their job.

If it were up to me, I would collectively bargain penalties for player and coaches convicted of DUI’s. I am sure it would never happen, nor do I think it’s legal if the players are driving their own vehicles. I do wonder, however, if you made it a standard part of the player contract if that could be prevented. Again, it would have to be collectively-bargained (good luck), and I doubt the Players Association would be open to such a clause. They were, however, in agreement that players shouldn’t chew tobacco on the field or dugout. I think that’s far more benign than anything that results from alcohol abuse. That point is, you went after tobacco, why not address the real issue that has become a problem in baseball: alcoholism.

Check out more about the Red Sox banning alcohol in their clubhouse at

Post to Twitter Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook


Bobby V bans booze from clubhouse

To avoid a repeat of 2011, Bobby Valentine has banned alcohol from the Red Sox clubhouse for the 2012 season. Players are also banned from drinking on return flights to Boston.

Bobby Valentine bans beer in the clubhouse

Last year, the Boston Red Sox collapse was quite historic. The stories behind the disruptive behavior in the clubhouse have become legendary. The starting pitchers were rumored to be drinking beer on many occasions, as well as other teammates. This isn’t shocking to others that have played in the Majors, but the organization, especially new manager Bobby Valentine, can’t let...

Valentine, Red Sox ban beer in clubhouse

The Boston Red Sox have banned beer in the clubhouse, manager Bobby Valentine announced Saturday afternoon.

Valentine bans alcohol in Red Sox clubhouse

FORT MYERS, FLA. (AP) - Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine says the team will ban alcohol in the clubhouse for the upcoming season.Valentine made the announcement after the team's first full-squad workout of spring training Saturday.The move comes in the wake of last season's September collapse that included reports ...

Beer ban hot topic for Valentine, Francona

On Monday morning, former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on ESPN Radio, called new manager Bobby Valentine's ban on beer in the clubhouse a "PR move." "I think if a guy wants a beer, he can probably get one," Francona said. "I don't think it's a surprise that they put this in effect, or the fact they announced it. It's probably more of a...

Valentine: No alcohol in BoSox clubhouse (AP)

Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine says the team will ban alcohol in the clubhouse for the upcoming season. Valentine made the announcement after the team's first full-squad workout of spring training Saturday. The move comes in the wake of last season's September collapse that included reports of Boston starting pitchers drinking beer in the clubhouse on their off-days.

Maddon won't ban beer in Rays clubhouse

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine is banning beer in the clubhouse after the infamous fried chicken and beer controversy that came to light in the wake of Bostons epic 2011 meltdown. But dont expect Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon to follow suit. When asked about his policy Sunday, he responded without missing a beat. Were not the Boston Red Sox, Maddon...

Jon Lester Impresses Bobby Valentine, Daisuke Matsuzaka Has His 'Best Bullpen Session' of Spring

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox pitchers threw live batting practice for the second straight day on Friday. After pacing through all the fields at JetBlue Park, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was especially impressed with one of his veteran hurlers, who was throwing against minor league hitters, from Thursday. "I thought that [Jon] Lester had really nice downward plane, as they...

Francona calls Bobby Valentine's beer ban a 'PR Move' (video)

Some may see Bobby Valentine's ban of beer in the clubhouse as a step toward restoring a professional culture. Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona isn't so sure. "I think it's a PR move," Francona told ESPN's Mike and Mike In The Morning."I think if a guy wants a beer, he can probably get one." Francona indicated that he probably would not have...

Ellsbury talks Sox future

Bobby Valentine talks Ellsbury and Sox pitching after the jump.Videos via Trags

Red Sox can the beer

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told the team today that he has banned alcohol in the clubhouse and on team flights returning to Boston.

Bobby V: May need to address lingering anger

Bobby Valentine acknowledged that if there is any lingering anger in the aftermath of last season's debacle, it might need to be addressed.

Jon Lester, Red Sox Pitchers Focus on Lower-Body Mechanics in Spring Training (Video)

Bobby Valentine has many of his players focusing on fundamentals early on in spring training. One area in particular that the new Sox skipper is emphasizing is pickoffs. The pitchers worked on their lower-body mechanics on Sunday in an effort to improve their pickoff moves for the 2012 season. One pitcher who's working especially hard is Jon Lester, who hopes to improve his delivery...

Red Sox ban alcohol in clubhouse

There will be no drinking in the Boston Red Sox clubhouse this season. The team will ban alcohol in the clubhouse and on the last plane flight of road trips, new manager Bobby Valentine announced Saturday.
Red Sox News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.