However, you'd think that spring training would be another story. After all, medical science has long known that watching the last four innings of a spring game while sober can be damaging to your health and spirit. But the Yankees appear to have carried the beer ban with them to Florida. How else to explain this?
That's Yankee designated lumberer Shelly Duncan introducing himself to Aki Iwamura's boys in a spring training game earlier today. The gesture prompted a bench-clearing brawl highlighted by Jonny Gomes's decision to demonstrate unusually sure hands (for him) by charging in from the outfield to tackle Duncan
You'd have to assume that if Duncan, Gomes, and the rest of the players known that a cold one or five awaited them in the clubhouse, they would have skipped the histrionics, played out the string, and contented themselves with making the rookies do keg stands. Instead there was a fight that served no purpose for anybody.
Indeed, although the peanut gallery over at NYY Fans thought that the fight showed good heart, sass, gumption, etc. on the Yankees' part, all it really did is set the stage for a season-long beanball festival of the sort that Tampa and Boston used to engage during the Pedro Era. And that's bad news for New York--any time a team has the more talented roster (and despite Tampa's improvements, New York still has the better lineup), it has more to lose by engaging in a beanball war. The better team has the better players at risk, and more to lose by dropping a game or two that it might otherwise have won.
So, Hank, wise up and bring back the beer. In fact, the next time the Yanks and Rays play a spring training game, pony up the money to put a keg at each base. The fans will almost certainly get their money's worth, and you just might save your self a Derek Jeter broken hand somewhere down the road.