Yeah, us too. We have no idea what Joe Smith looks like. When he and his “friend,” Allie LaForce, current sports reporter for Fox Sports Cleveland and former Miss Teen USA in 2005, tried to swindle their way into the Roundhouse Bar in Put-in-Bay, Ohio, neither did the bouncer. (We’ll leave the jokes concerning the town name up to you.)
“According to the report, Joe Smith tried to enter the bar without identification – and when bar security questioned his age, Smith told them he was a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians. Bar security did not accept that answer, and one of the people with Smith told police ‘Roundhouse security became rude and disrespectful.’ It was at this point in Smith’s explanation of events to police that the officer remarked in the report that ‘Mr. Smith became upset with me because I did already not know who he was.’
The report then said that the pitcher’s girlfriend leaned forward and stated, ‘He’s a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians!’ Smith told officers that a bar security member called him a name before removing him from the property, and then someone else tried to fight with Smith.
Officers then told Smith and his friend — both of whom had been placed in handcuffs — that no charges or citations would be issued. But before they left, the police report stated that the mother of Smith’s friend “held out a large folded stack of $100 bills to Ofc. Williams and said ‘Can you guys take a tip?’ The officer explained to the woman that ‘we would not be taking any gratuities,’ according to the report.”
Important: Joe Smith is 28 years old. And, in case you were wondering, he has posted a career E.R.A. of 3.13 in five years with the Mets and Indians. While his pronounced arrogance, that a random bouncer would lay out the red carpet for a not-even-starting pitcher, is undoubtedly enjoyable, more alarming ingredients of this story should catch your eye.
Who doesn’t carry his ID at all times? Maybe Smith simply didn’t have his wallet, but that begs further questions. Where did his wallet go? Did it disappear in a night of bar hopping and debauchery? Did Chris Perez steal it to boost attendance by financing more season tickets for Cleveland Indians fans? Why was LaForce’s mother present? Bars don’t appear to be the appropriate locale for some mother-daughter’s boyfriend mingling. And why was she carrying a stack of $100s? Only illicit activities require such a flashy, and large stipend.
But the best part of this story is the honest cop, who courteously refused the “tip” and eloquently addressed it by its proper name: a gratuity. It’s good to know that there are still some stand up cops out there. Luckily for Smith, and his entourage, no charges were filed and Smith is free to service the Indians’ bullpen as the team continues its outstanding start to the season.