In the wake of the drunk driving death of Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock earlier this week, the team has banend alcohol from the team clubhouse. Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, who during spring training was found asleep and intoxicated behind the wheel of his car at a stop light, was unimpressed, commenting that the players do not drink much in the clubhouse, anyway. Furthermore, he apparently believes that being married and having a family makes one immune to alcohol problems. From the AP article posted at Yahoo! Sports:
La Russa didn’t think alcohol abuse was a problem on the team in general, noting that many of the players are married with children. The bullpen is an exception.
"Look at our roster," he said. "The game is over, guys go home to their family. So it’s a limited scope issue."
Oh, I get it. If you’re married and have a family, you don’t have a drinking problem. Back in March, marriage and family didn’t keep LaRussa, who is married and has two children, sober. "So it’s a limited in scope issue," he says. Yeah, right. Parents do not have drinking problems. Husbands do not have drinking problems. What planet is he from? LaRussa’s attempts to sweep this stuff under the carpet is disgraceful and dangerous. He is in serious denial about the scope of the problem.
The Philadelphia Inquirer sports columnist Phil Sheridan has an excellent column about baseball’s culture of covering up, rather than confronting, player’s alcohol problems. (Paul Hagen of the Daily News has some comments here.) I hope their voices are heard . . .