FORT MYERS, Fla (CBS) – After all the talk this winter about beer and the Boston Red Sox, Bobby Valentine is making sure drinking in the clubhouse doesn’t happen again.
The new Red Sox manager has banned alcohol in the Red Sox’ clubhouse and on the plane ride home on the last leg of a road trip, he announced Saturday from the team’s Spring Training complex in Fort Myers, Florida.
This is nothing new for Valentine, who had the same rule during his time with the New York Mets.
“It’s just what I’ve always done, except in Texas, I guess,” Valentine said of his decision. “I’m comfortable with it that way.”
Valentine On Alcohol, Rules
Read: Dan Roche’s Live Blog
There was a lot made of the “Rally Beers” members of the Red Sox pitching staff partook in last season during games on their off days. Many felt it was just one of the signs the team’s behavior was deteriorating, as they took liberties with Terry Francona in charge.
Valentine made the announcement at a team meeting prior to their first full squad workout on Saturday. He did not talk with the veteran players before making his decision, but has the support of one of his most vocal leaders.
“We’re not here to drink,” Sox DH David Ortiz told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche. “We’re here to play baseball. It ain’t a bar.”
“If you want to drink it, drink at home,” Ortiz continued. “Bobby was talking about some rules he’s going to have. To be honest, they’re not rules. They’re reminders. They’re things that every organization has. We just need to execute as players and follow up.”
Ortiz was one of the few players to speak to the team in the meeting Saturday morning.
As for the reception Valentine receiver when the announcement was made, Valentine used him humor when asked about it.
“You mean standing ovation or booing? I didn’t get either of those,” Valentine joked. “It probably fell somewhere in between a standing O and a standing boo.”
The St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees and Mets all have long-standing alcohol bans, and Joe Torre hinted in October MLB may considered making it a baseball-wide rule.
When asked if there were any other rules he set, Valentine said it was more of a code than a rule.
“Not to embarrass themselves or the team, the community, their teammates, themselves,” he said. “I don’t think that’s a new rule. It’s a long-standing rule of life.”