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Major League Baseball has accomplished what it set out to do this year. One of the biggest gripes about the sport was that it took too long to play. There was too much dead time between pitches. Batters stepped out of the box too often. MLB took control and introduced the pitch clock.

Games have been much shorter this season, and that’s forced some MLB teams to alter some off-the-field plans. One of those changes has been the sale of alcohol. Typically, teams have stopped selling alcohol after the seventh inning. Now that the games are moving along at a faster pace, several teams have decided to extend alcohol sales into the eighth inning. Isn’t that backward?

Four MLB teams have experimented with extending alcohol sales into the eighth inning

Long-time beer vendor Rocco Caputo sells Goose Island products during a game between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field on August 23, 2022, in Chicago, Illinois. | Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images.

Quicker games mean there’s less time for beer-drinking at an MLB game. For that reason, some teams have extended the cutoff for alcohol sales by an inning.

According to The Associated Press, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, and Milwaukee Brewers are selling alcohol through the eighth inning.

The Baltimore Orioles already sold alcohol through the eighth inning, or until 3 1/2 hours after the first pitch, whichever came first. Major League Baseball doesn’t dictate when alcohol sales should be cut off.

Isn’t extending the sale into the eighth inning going in the opposite direction? Isn’t the purpose of the cutoff to give fans ample time to sober up before driving home? Shouldn’t sales be pushed back an inning instead?

The safety of the fans doesn’t seem to factor in here. Instead of having two full innings for the alcohol to wear off, now there’s just one much faster-paced inning before heading home.

Phillies pitcher Matt Strahm believes selling beer into the eighth inning defies common sense

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Matt Strahm doesn’t agree with some teams extending the sales of alcohol into the eighth inning, and he’s been vocal about it. During an appearance on the Baseball Isn’t Boring podcast, he said these MLB teams aren’t using much common sense.

He also said he isn’t surprised by the decision because the almighty dollar is involved.

“I’m not surprised,” Strahm said. “When you mess with billionaires’ dollars, (they)find a way to make their dollars back. 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.

“But just using common sense: We stopped it in the seventh for the safety of fans and people getting home. Like, it just makes no sense to me that you’re going to allow it to the eighth inning.”

Strahm is absolutely correct here. Putting profits before safety isn’t the smartest thing.


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