I made a joke about beers consumed during a game on DelPhan’s post about breaking records, and it got me thinking. I assumed that players drank during games back in the day but that puritanical impulses had nixed most of that kind of behavior now. That’s what was so shocking about the Red Sox collapse of 2011. Their drinking suggested an intentional checking out on games and putting themselves in no condition to play. Indeed, when Miguel Cabrera showed up to a game inebriated, he was compelled to apologize for it later. Shame, shame on drinking in the clubhouse or being impaired at “work.” Isn’t that the way we look at it today? Gone are the days when guys swilled as they swatted.
But, does it happen more than we think these days? This summer, Dan Cooper, pitching coach for the ChiSox gave an interview in which he claimed to witness Mark Buehrle drinking beer during Game 3 of the 2005 World Series. This was normal behavior there for those not pitching on that day, he said. Buehrle actually ended up closing the game though, despite the fact that the coach knew he had imbibed during. In fairness, Buehrle did ask if they needed him to pitch when the game tied up — perhaps to gauge how much he could drink thereafter or if he should stop in case he had to go out. And, really, Game 3 is like 4:30pm Friday afternoon at a tech firm, so we should probably expect drinking then. Still, are we surprised it happened — and in a playoff run no less?
In another interview this summer, AJ Pierzynski admitted to drinking while playing — especially during long games. The starting pitcher is well out of the game and working on his nth post-performance beer and jealousy takes over, according to Pierzynski. Solution? “Rally beers!” Yup, that’s the way to spark an offensive burst. Let’s get this rally started! Everybody ready to rallyyyyyyyyyyyy! I guess the question is, when you’re tied up during the 13th, do you want to have a cold one with AJ?
So, there we have it. Drinking during games does apparently still happen. Maybe not as much or as publicly as it used to be, but players gonna play and beers gonna be drunk.