The new MLB pitch clock has sped up the time of games considerably, just as it was designed to do. But the new rules have led to some clubs changing their alcohol policies at the ballpark. Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Matt Straham has some thoughts on it.
Strahm said that the new policy doesn’t make sense to him in an appearance on the “Baseball Isn’t Boring” podcast. He said that pushing the cutoff for sales back to the eighth inning instead of pulling them up in the game puts fans at risk.
“The reason we stopped it the seventh before was to give our fans time to sober up and drive home safe, correct?” Strahm said. “So now with a faster-pace game, and me just being a man of common sense, if the game is going to finish quicker, would we not move the beer sales back to the sixth inning to give our fans time to sober up and drive home? Instead, we’re going to the eighth, and now you’re putting our fans and our family at risk driving home with people who have just drank beer 22 minutes ago.”
The Milwaukee Brewers are another team to adopt a new policy, along with the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks. The shorter games have led to teams pushing the cut-off back to allow for more time to purchase drinks. But as the Phillies’ veteran pointed out, that doesn’t leave as much time for fans to sober up.
“When you mess with billionaires’ dollars, to find a way to make their dollars back,” Strahm said. “But my thing is, when you’re looking at the safety of your fans, that’s probably not the smartest decision to extend it into the eighth. And, again, just being a common sense thinker, I think as a fan of the game, and just looking out for people, it would make more sense he stopped the sales in the sixth.”
Strahm has been good for the Phillies so far this season. The 31-year-old has had to step out of the bullpen to be a starter due to injuries and has recorded 10 strikeouts in 10.0 total scoreless innings this season.
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