Sox’ beer ban gets some unexpected criticism

The Red Sox announced over the weekend that beer would be banned in the clubhouse as well as on planes on the last leg of a road trip for the upcoming season.  This is a move that surprised absolutely no one.  Obviously for every action there is a reaction and after the PR hit that the Sox took for all of the talk about beer and chicken in the clubhouse last season the obvious reaction was to remove that possible distraction altogether.  Was it a PR move?  Absolutely it was.  Still it was surprising to hear their former manager say as much just a few days after the reports of the rule change.

Terry Francona appeared on the Mike and Mike Show this morning on ESPN radio this AM and said exactly that.  He said it was a PR move and made thinly veiled suggestions that it will probably end up being more of a guideline than a rule (which, by the way, I don’t buy).  While he’s right that it was a PR move to announce the rule that doesn’t make it a bad thing.  The rule didn’t have to be made public but it was the smart thing to do with the Boston sports media swimming around Fort Myers like sharks looking for blood.  Announcing the step was just another way to try and move on from last year.  The questions from the media are certainly beginning to get tiring.  If anything it speaks to the difference of Valentine and Francona as managers.  Francona is not a disciplinarian and it was well known that he was not much of a “rules guy” in the clubhouse.  Valentine is different and ultimately that’s why he was hired in the first place.

Francona’s comments were modest in nature compared to the comments made by Rays manager Joe Maddon.  Maddon took some not-so-thinly veiled swipes at the Sox when he defiantly announced that his club would not ban alcohol in the clubhouse.  Good for you Joe.  Maddon even cited the Volstead Act when criticizing the Red Sox stance on alcohol in the clubhouse.  People say that it was a case of Maddon being Maddon but I see a lot of things that could be considered direct shots at the Red Sox clubhouse.  It’s clear to me that Maddon, and likely by extension his players, have little to no respect for the competitive nature of the Red Sox players.  I hope someone is taking note of this in the Red Sox clubhouse.

It should be noted that the Sox are the 19th team to ban alcohol in their clubhouse.  That leaves only 11 teams left that actually do allow alcohol to be consumed in their clubhouse.  This was not unprecedented action that was initiated by the Sox brass.  They are just keeping up with the times.

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About evonsports
30 year old sports enthusiast and aspiring writer from Boston.

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