Hate to be the party pooper here, but the practice of adult baseball players wildly consuming alcohol in front of adoring crowds needs to stop. You clinched a postseason berth. You won the AL East. Have some class. Act like you’ve been there before. Hell, be slightly professional. Whatever you do, consider this incident the beginning of the end for this kind of stuff.
Why it needs to go:
First of all, kids go to games and it really sets a terrible example. (Believe me, I’m no saint, but you’ve got to draw a line with the adult activities somewhere.) Secondly, it encourages players to embarrass themselves — and in the case of the Los Angeles Dodgers, be called out by a prominent U.S. Senator for behaving like “idiots.” But the best reason to end the practice of getting shitfaced and/or using alcohol as a celebratory projectile (champagne spraying or otherwise), was given last night by the Red Sox’s Jonny Gomes…
…when he was punted full beers into the crowd, and one allegedly hit an old man, splitting open a pretty nasty laceration above his eye. The extent of his injury is not know at this time, but it’s fairly certain he had more than a few stitches. (Let it also be stated that there’s no definitive proof that Gomes’ punting was the cause of the injury. Suffice it to say that it might as well have been, considering that if you drop kick enough beers into a crowd, someone will get hurt.)
The thing that gets me about the Sox’s celebration, is just how obnoxiously juvenile the whole thing is. Once again, I’m not preaching about your right to do that — on your own time, around other adults, it’s totally alright act like a big, stupid, drunk kid — but not in front of television cameras. Not in front of fans who look up to you. Not in front of kids (yes, kids go to night games, too). It’s unprofessional. It’s unnecessary. Keep it in the clubhouse, bro. Some of us don’t want to ruin the illusion that our sports heros are noble, exceptional men, and not the Fenway Park Delta Kappa Epsilon chapter who got kicked off campus.
Gomes posed with his kids — who were wearing ski goggles, presumably to shield their little eyes from errant celebratory beer spray particulate. (The helmet thing, by the way, is an homage of Gomes’ mantra “It’s time to put your hard hat on.”)
So much for shedding that “beer and chicken” image…