Grace might be Arizona’s public face to the consequences of drinking and driving. In baseball, he’s something of a relic: a legendary teammate who lingered in the clubhouse until the wee hours, reveling in camaraderie often fueled by alcohol.
But those days are going the way of flannel uniforms.
“The clubhouse has changed so much,” Hall of Famer Robin Yount says, “and you hate to say, but it’s because there’s no beer.”
...The old-timers say they didn’t linger to get drunk but rather to talk shop, learn about the game and bring together an otherwise disparate group. Yount’s favorite memories growing up in the Milwaukee Brewers clubhouse were listening to Hank Aaron hold court late after games. Arizona manager Kirk Gibson reminisces about the days with Alan Trammell in Detroit and George Brett in Kansas City.
It wasn’t just the beer taps that kept teams together, but the lack of technology. There were no iPhones, iPads, Facebook or Twitter.
“Social media,” veteran third baseman Eric Chavez said, “changed everything. The trust factor went away.”
...These days, the clubhouse often is a ghost town by 11 p.m.
“Nobody hangs out anymore,” San Francisco Giants reliever Scott Proctor says. “You used to sit down and have beers in the clubhouse, and it’s not even part of the game anymore. That’s what I miss.”
This coming from an alcoholic. Proctor, who said he was a binge drinker, has been sober four years. He doesn’t miss the beer, he says, only camaraderie that went with it.
Posted: March 27, 2013 at 04:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
Login to Bookmark