Thursday, October 27, 2011

Getcha' Beer Here! Just Not in the Clubhouse

Amazingly, there has been other things going on in the beery world, that do not pertain to the Oxford Companion to Beer. Like the fact that Major League Baseball was considering a ban on beer in all of its teams clubhouse's—before, after and during games. The whole controversy started because Boston Red Sox starting pitchers, Josh Beckett, John Lackey and Jon Lester admitted to drinking a few beers in the clubhouse, during games that they were not pitching in. The word "admitting" seems to imply guilt, in this case, but technically it's not against MLB or the franchise's rules. So, I'm not sure what the violation was. As a matter of fact, it's a fairly common practice in baseball. Either way, somebody tattled to Boston's WHDH-TV, and MLB needed to take immediate action to protect America's youth—or a least say they were going to, and then back down the next day. Annoyed by MLB's knee-jerk reaction, Joe Maddon, manager for the Tampa Bay Rays, facetiously suggested the league was going to re-invoke the Volstead Act. That's right, the Volstead Act. When was the last time you heard a baseball manager mention a non-baseball related historical reference, let alone a historical beer reference?

The irony of the situation is two-fold. First, Budweiser was the official sponsor of this postseason's, after game celebrations—in each teams respective clubhouse. Secondly, the two teams—the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers—vying for the National League spot in the World Series, play in stadiums named for brewing companies—Busch Stadium and Miller Park. In fact, the Cards were at one time owned by Anheuser-Busch.

Keith's game day check list:
Away uniform–check,
Camel Lights–check,
Here's the crux of the situation—and it needs a little back story. A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, in the year 1986, the New York Mets staged, arguably, the greatest comeback in World's Series history. Up by one game, going into game six, Boston took a quick lead, but the Mets tied it up in the eighth inning and held the tie through the ninth. A home run and an RBI, in the tenth inning from Boston, brought the score to 5–3. However, in a string of last strike, clutch hitting, the Amazin's would also score, and advance their runners into scoring positions. With Met left fielder Mookie Wilson at bat and an inside pitch thrown wild, the tying run would cross the plate. After a series of foul-offs, into a full count, Wilson would smack a slow roller down the first base line, to the waiting glove of BoSox first baseman Bill Buckner—or so it seemed. The ball would sneak past Buckner, dribbling between his feet, settling in shallow right field; allowing Ray Knight to cruise home, grab his helmet and jump on the plate to score the winning run. The Mets would go on to win game seven, and the Series, two days later.

Amazin' to say the least, right?  Do you know where Met first baseman Keith Hernandez was during all that commotion? Please allow Seinfeld to explain:      
KEITH: Let me explain, Elaine. I'm Keith Hernandez. I was the 1979 MVP. I won 11 Gold Gloves in a row. I was part of the most amazing comeback in World Series history... 
ELAINE: Wait, I thought you were in the clubhouse smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer during that rally. 
KEITH: Only at the start. I was in the dugout when the ball went through Buckner's legs. I was still drinking the beer and I didn't have my pants on, but I was in the dugout.
That's no joke folks—I mean, it is a joke, but it did happen—the beer, the smokes, the dugout. Although, I don't know about the pants thing. Nobody tried to ban anything back then. I'm pretty sure we all knew smoking and drinking might have some detrimental affects on our health, and Hernandez in 86', was a bigger role model than John Lackey, today. Do you know the difference between Keith Hernandez and the 1986 World Series Champion New York Mets, and Josh Beckett, John Lackey and Jon Lester of the 2011 Boston Red Sox?

The Mets didn't miss the play-offs by one game. 

So, before MLB starts blaming the evils of beer, maybe they should blame Boston's 20 losses in September. Did MLB ever think the reporter for WHDH might have been a disgruntled Sox fan, mad that they shitted their season away? You may have gotten a little carried way fellas, bad press doesn't have to be bad press, unless you make it bad press. Oh, and Jon, John, and Josh, next year, lay off the fried chicken and beer. Try not to gain over a hundred pounds between the three of you—nobody points fingers at the winners. 

I'm just sayin.'


  1. I remember that World Series game well. I was living in NYC at the time and was a bit of a Mets fan. I almost felt sorry for the Red Sox. Almost.

  2. Yeah, it has to be in the top ten best World Series games.