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Posted: October 30, 2011 12:00 a.m.

Happy hour before the end of shift

With the World Series behind us Major League Baseball is considering banning all alcohol from the clubhouse.

This is the result of the admission on the part of several Boston Red Sox players to sitting in the clubhouse having a few cold ones while their team was taking a swan dive out of the playoffs. Considering the way the Braves hit during their stretch run makes you think they may have been drinking in the on-deck circle.

The Boston players in question were not going to be in the game so they apparently saw no wrong with tossing back a few while they were technically at work.

Being able to have a cold one while on the job may be another good reason to pursue a career in baseball. Unfortunately my fastball has lost a few miles per hour, like about 47, and my curve ball only curves after it hits the ground.

Drinking on the job has always been an issue in some occupations.

It was commonly known in journalism that a reporter who could not work half-gassed or hung over like a Rocky Mountain cliff was not worth his salt, and more than one reporter — and a whole lot of editors who had to deal with reporters — kept a bottle of sanity in the bottle desk drawer. Besides, I’m not sure a reporter who doesn’t drink can be trusted.

Over time this conduct was considered bad form, but I think you can place the demise of journalism in this country from the time the bottle in the bottom drawer was outlawed. Many corporate executives and professional types have long enjoyed the three martini lunch. For some this can turn into the 13 martini lunch, which may have something to do with the current financial problems.

You have to think after some of those bank mortgage deals went sideways there wasn’t at least one bank executive who stared at his Bassett Hound face in the mirror and said, “Boy, and that sounded like a great idea at lunch yesterday.”

Attorneys have long been known to enjoy a cocktail or two and it is not uncommon for attorneys on opposing sides to sit down and hammer out a deal over a round of drinks.  I suspect there is more than one lawsuit out there that was won or lost based on the liver capacity of the attorney. 

I would have no confidence in an attorney who did not drink, so rather than asking to see their law degree I want to examine their last bar tab. Naturally there needs to be some degree of moderation because you don’t want your attorney addressing the jury when there is no jury, although I have seen a few lawyers who could have benefited from a couple of stiff ones before going into the courtroom.

And I’ve seen a few judges who certainly needed a cold one after listening to lawyers all day.

Construction people and hard-working laborers have been known to have a cold one during lunch and return to work without missing a beat. 

This is probably because they have the experience to pace themselves and work so hard they can sweat out one beer just by picking up a circular saw.

Naturally we have a lot of politicians and legislators, as well as high-level guvmint types, who attend cocktail parties and drink as matter of course as part of their jobs.  No doubt many ideas have come from the bottom of the bottle for these folks. This might explain some things in Washington and the highway system in Georgia.

I don’t want my elected officials to get crocked and do something really stupid, like invading Canada, but it’s probably not a bad idea for a politician to sit down over a cold one and think about things before making a major decision. 

I mean, the decisions they are making while dead sober haven’t been that great lately.

Come to think about, there may be times it wouldn’t be so bad if they got smashed because then they would pass out and not do us any harm.

But Major League Baseball may set a new standard by outlawing brew in the clubhouse. A lot of managers will probably think this will make a big difference in the performance of their team. And it might.

But not if they can’t hit anyway.

 

Ric Latarski is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics and can be reached at Rlatarski@aol.com.

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