The 2016 Major League Baseball season is a week old. After a week there have been many storylines that have surprised fans across the country: Rockies rookie SS Trevor Story hits 7 home runs in his first 6 major league games, the Dodgers pull a rookie pitcher in his first career start despite having a no hitter going and the Baltimore Orioles are the leagues final undefeated team at 6-0. Nobody saw any of those things coming.
However this off season there were three major changes to the game that baseball fans knew were coming going into this season. First, many stadiums added additional protective netting to increase fan safety from flying balls and bats. Secondly, the change of slides are and are not allowed into 2nd base. Thirdly, a smokeless tobacco bans across a few major league cities.
Briefly, I think the additional nets are good to prevent bats, because no matter how closely you are paying attention to the action a large flying projectile coming into the stands can still cause serious damage. However I do not like the change however because it just enables phones culture more. Too many people are too busy staring at their phone instead of actually watching the game and a few have been hit by foul balls, I have no sympathy for these people. Social Darwinism at it's finest. I'm just as guilty as most for phone use but there are times where we need to put the fucking phone down and just enjoy life as it happens, and a major league baseball game is one of those places.
I think the new rule into second base is soft as well, one freak accident happens in the playoffs and now everybody is up in arms. America is getting too soft and it's leaking into sports as well. People are too lazy to fix things so instead they just ban them. It's not in just sports, it's all of life. I could go off on that subject for 10,000 words but am gonna try to keep my cool and just focus on the main reason I'm writing this. The smokeless tobacco ban.
Recently, cities such as Boston, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles have banned smokeless tobacco. San Francisco was the first city in the country to ban smokeless tobacco use in all ballparks. Most notably, AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. A legal substance is now considered illegal in these places, resulting in a fine.
We still are in America, right?
I for the record, do not dip and never have. I did a pouch once in high school (I'm a pussy) thought it was nasty and never touched it again. I smokeless tobacco use is fucking disgusting and will openly admit I judge all people who do it, I think less of you. Smokeless tobacco is proven to cause cancer (RIP Tony Gwynn) and it is just gross to see dudes spit into water bottles or cups. It blows my mind that there are women on this planet who will kiss men who chew tobacco.
That being said it is not illegal and unlike cigarettes does not have adverse affects to those surrounding you, like second hand smoke. I don't have an issue with people dipping, it's their choice and doesn't negatively impact me. I think it is gross, but this is America and until it is actually illegal nation wide I don't think it should be banned from ballparks. Tobacco use goes as far back into baseball history as the double play. The famous Honus Wagner card that is worth like a billion dollars came from a cigarette give away ( I think)
In Boston anybody caught dipping/chewing at Fenway Park will be issued a $250 ticket. Including the guys on the field and in the dugout. Now to a regular guy sitting in the center field bleachers that is stiff price to pay. But for a major league baseball player, even someone making the league minimum it's a joke. Anybody who calls that number and reports someone is a snitch!
Many wonder if it will even be enforced. Is a cop really gonna issue David Ortiz or Dustin Pedroia a $250 ticket for having a lip in? Even if they do, do you think they're gonna care, $250 to someone making 15 million dollars is like a penny to a broke loser like me. It literally does nothing. These guys are addicted to this substance and are millionaires. Even if they have to pay thousands it's not gonna do anything. If you want to make a change I feel like there are better options than this.
Many say this rule is because the use of dip is unhealthy, which it undoubtedly is. But so are Fenway Franks or the $11 Budweisers for sale. I love a few (10) beers and hot dogs when I'm at Fenway, but I know they aren't good for me. I'm not an idiot I have a brain, I can figure out processed meats probably aren't healthy. Yet I make the discussion to do it anyway, and so does literally thousands of other people, just look at the lines. So I think this argument is a load of shit. I love beer too and don't think it should ever be banned but I know drunk people can be awful. Theres nothing worse than being around annoying drunk people that don't know how to handle their shit when you're sober, it's so annoying. Drunk people at games cause a lot more trouble than some guy packing a yammer. Didn't fans in LA basically kill a Giants fan a few years ago, don't think they did it because of dip. You just can't pick and chose what is bad for people. Since they can't sell skoal at Fenway like they can Budweiser this is a way to make money IMO. Again you can't tell people what they can and cannot do with things like this where it is not a crime or hurting anybody.
Then you'll hear the role model argument. "We can't have our young kids looking up to baseball players who chew tobacco" look at the bad influence it sets. Athletes are just people are good at playing a game. They're still people they aren't better than you or me. How about we have parents actually do their jobs and teach their kids what is right and wrong explain to them why you shouldn't use tobacco.
Pretty simple just show them a picture like this.
Instead of actually taking the time to do something, like explain to people the dangers of tobacco they just ban it. Again I think anybody who uses tobacco is a moron, I'm smarter and better than you because I don't dip but it is their right as an American to be that moron. That is something I'll support forever. The same way they can blast me for eating nothing but pizza for 5 years causing me to be a fat slob. It's the same thing. But I think it is stupid to say to grown men playing a game they can't pack a lip and then to think fining them $250 is gonna do something.
So while I do think dipping is disgusting, I think it is more disgusting for people to try to take freedom away.