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Major League Baseball is seeking to limit champagne celebrations

Nov 1, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

Swisher champagne celebration

The New York Times reports that, just prior to the World Series, Major League Baseball issued a memo to teams, telling them to limit the amount of champagne provided for victory celebrations, to offer non-alcoholic beverages for spritzing purposes, banning beer and other types of alcoholic drinks from the showers and telling teams are not allowed to bring the drinks on the field.

My opposition to the showers is less about the alcohol itself than the fact that these things have become so rote and scripted and common, but hey, if any of these new guidelines discourage the practice, more power to them.

One question I do have is about banning beer from the showers. Aren’t there sponsorships involved here? Doesn’t Budweiser or whoever provide the plastic that covers the lockers, slapping their logo on them?  Could this be one instance in which an actual, principled decision takes precedence over a marketing interest?  If so, someone get me a fainting couch, because I can’t believe it.


  1. Panda Claus - Nov 1, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    Not saying this isn’t a good decision, but as per typical with MLB, it’s yet another knee-jerk move based on a foundation of public opinion. Funny how public opinion about how baseball should use more instant replay is overlooked.

  2. Jonny 5 - Nov 1, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    “Could this be one instance in which an actual, principled decision takes precedence over a marketing interest?”

    No. Word has it Selig is acquiring a Sparkling juice company as we speak….

  3. BC - Nov 1, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    No drinks on the field, I agree with. But the SHOWER? I don’t get that one.

  4. easports82 - Nov 1, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    These feels like NFL-style ‘take the fun out of the game’ crap to me. I like that the Rangers switched it up for Hamilton, but to legislate it across the entire league? Can’t Bud just stick with screwing up the on-field product and stay out of the clubhouse?

    • yankees1996 - Nov 1, 2010 at 4:33 PM

      No, he can’t, he has to screw up the entire game not just one portion of it.

  5. JBerardi - Nov 1, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    Is the fun part about winning pennant races/playoff series really the silly beer showers? Look, I love alcohol as much as the next guy, but the institutionalization/ritualization of it in certain situations does bother me. I don’t like that Budweiser is essentially paying Baseball to promote the idea that if you’re not drunk, you’re not really celebrating. Josh Hamelton’s situation illuminates one of the problems with this ritualization. Then there’s the fact that baseball is marketed to children.

    By the way, what’s the more widespread destructive habit among the precious, precious Children™ in this country that we must do everything for? Steroid use, or binge drinking? You know, if Roger Clemens was smart, he wouldn’t have lied to congress. He should have just made a few strategic campaign donations and bought some TV adds during the World Series. No one would have touched him.

  6. RickyB - Nov 1, 2010 at 5:35 PM

    How about if the public doesn’t like the excessive alcohol showers, MLB takes the cameras out of the locker room so the teams can enjoy themselves as they see fit? Yes, the champagne showers are tired and cliché, but if you were a part of a team that hadn’t won in awhile, would you want to be told what you can and cannot do (within the realm of common decency)?

    • JBerardi - Nov 1, 2010 at 8:30 PM

      I think removing the cameras and letting them do whatever they want is a great idea, because I do appreciate that these guys are going to want to celebrate, and I think they should be allowed to. The problem is that when you broadcast and sponsor the thing, it’s no longer just about the players enjoying themselves–you then have to consider what the public sees and what kind of message that sends. Take the cameras away and let players enjoy themselves without having to worry about that stuff.

  7. Glenn - Nov 1, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    Is anyone else sick of the “New Prohibition” and the micromanaging of adults? Lighten up already. If anyone is committing a crime, by all means lay down the law – but legislating what grown men do in a private shower?

    • JBerardi - Nov 1, 2010 at 8:15 PM

      But baseball players aren’t just random autonomous adults, they’re employees of major league baseball teams. The place they’re celebrating in is the property of their employers. There’s nothing in the CBA that entitles players to consume alcohol on team property. Does it bother anyone when a law firm or a publisher bans alcoholic beverages from it’s offices? Of course not.

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