Article: Tobacco and Baseball
Posted 20 June 2014 - 10:27 AM
It's unfortunate that so many ballplayers will suffer the consequences of their "choice" in exercising this particular "individual freedom" in the meantime.
Posted 20 June 2014 - 11:12 AM
Posted 20 June 2014 - 12:09 PM
I went to a JUCO my first year and that is where I first experienced the "ball players do it" mentality. Our coach there was pretty tight about not wanting to see it in the dugout or on the field, but I would say half of the team chewed there, mostly because we were 18-19 year olds away from home and we didn't have to answer to anyone.
I transferred after my first year to a 4 year to a team that was significantly loaded with upperclassmen who were 23-24 and I would say 80-90% of the team (including both coaches) chewed either Red Man and gum or straight tobacco.
By the time I graduated, that number probably cut in half. I'm playing on an amateur team now with a majority of younger guys 3-4 years younger than me and maybe 1 or 2 guys chew. Maybe in the 5-8 year difference in age some of that has faded away as we see more and more of Tony Gwynn's of the world create negative attention to it. I guess I'm not going to be rushing out to by a bunch of stock in Phillip Morris anytime soon.
Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:53 PM
That said, I don't use chewing tobacco, but I don't care if other people do it. I don't have a problem with MLB players doing it, but I also wouldn't care if it was banned.
Posted 21 June 2014 - 07:38 PM
Posted 23 June 2014 - 05:02 PM
Posted 24 June 2014 - 07:59 AM
Its pretty rare that they actually show a guy dipping. I'm pretty sure broadcasts deliberately try to avoid filming it, in fact. Mostly we just see em spit and a lot of time its guys just hawking LOOGYs. I don't see how a ban would reduce usage outside of the league itself but maybe I'm underestimating MLB's audience.
There are actually provisions against showing it on television at the MLB level, and containers are not to be visible in the dugout for players. The minor leagues have it "banned", but it's not enforced like the marijuana ban.
Posted 24 June 2014 - 08:24 AM
I hope those who indicate that they are quitting will follow through. I know it will be difficult for them but somehow I don't think this is the right way to start:
While mourning the death of his college coach, Tony Gwynn, Stephen Strasburg says he made a decision to quit chewing tobacco. His primary reason is his daughter.
Strasburg, who was chewing tobacco while discussing the subject on Monday, said he started chewing tobacco long before he started playing for Gwynn, and that he didn't know the former Padres icon dipped.
Edited by JB_Iowa, 24 June 2014 - 08:29 AM.
Posted 25 June 2014 - 05:23 PM
MLB is said by people involved in the talks to actually have “pushed very hard” for the banning of smokeless tobacco in those discussions, with the players' union pushing back just as hard to keep it legal in the game. The union, driven on this issue by its players, ultimately won the point, though some rule refinements were intended to lessen usage and the harm caused by it.
The argument between MLB bigwigs and the union and its players was said to have grown “contentious” at some point, at least in the eyes of MLB officials. And one MLB person, asked who among the players appeared to be against the banning proposal, noted, “It was all of them.”
[I]n the end, while MLB's own survey found that smokeless tobacco usage is down to only a strong minority, at 33 percent, there isn't one player who is recalled by MLB officials who stood up against the vocal users and the teammates who supported them.
The good news, I guess, is that usage is down from 50% to 33% over the last 20 years. With the ban in the minors, maybe that figure will continue to drop.
Posted 25 June 2014 - 09:31 PM
I don't see how a union can have a say in the banning of tobacco products at a workplace.
No other union does.
Baseball isn't your everyday union for sure. Basically, to give in on tobacco, the union expects concessions from the owners, much like salary cap and revenue sharing had to get by the union with negotiation as well. I'd say you ban chew in the clubhouse and remove suspensions for off-field marijuana use, and you may have a move from the union.