- The Washington Times - Friday, May 4, 2007

So there is a move afoot in baseball to ban alcohol in the clubhouse following the traffic death of Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock in the wee hours Sunday.

News reports suggest Hancock may have been intoxicated before plowing a rented Ford Explorer into the rear of a tow truck.

If an alcohol ban in the clubhouse can save one life, then it all will have been worth it.

And while many of us dabble in the life-saving business this week, we also should consider employing bans against anything that possibly would interfere with operating a vehicle, whether that would be talking on a cell phone, applying makeup, listening to an iPod or reading the newspaper.

Perhaps we should just ban vehicles altogether. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the latest available statistics, 43,443 people were killed on our nation’s highways in 2005. That represented a 1.4 percent increase from 42,836 deaths in 2004.

If we could save 40,000-plus lives each year, then banning vehicles all would be worth it.

Of course, we then would have a spike in bicycle-related fatalities.

We could ban them, too, all in the interest of saving lives.

Then the cholesterol-clogged souls among us would start keeling over in greater numbers because of the strenuous activity of walking.

That is what trans fat has done to our nation.

McDonald’s, too.

And all the other fast-food peddlers of death.

It is so sad that there is a segment of the population that missed the memo on junk food.

And it is equally sad — excuse the tears — that there is an element in baseball that apparently does not know it is against to law to drive while under the influence of alcohol.

So it is clear that alcohol must be banned in the clubhouse, although how that would have saved Hancock early Sunday morning following an afternoon game Saturday is difficult to comprehend unless he was partying in the clubhouse all those hours. And he wasn’t.

By the way, if baseball wants to be truly progressive, it really should clean up its menu.

We all pay for the poor choices of others in the health care system.

Stop eating so much fried chicken, you horizontally challenged dough boy, you. It is so short-sighted.

If you lack the self-discipline to make the decision, then perhaps our mommies and daddies in government can pass a measure that restricts the consumption of fried chicken.

And let’s criminalize drugs.

What — it already is against the law to fry your brain with drugs?

Darn. You sure fooled us.

America has come to have a rallying cry in the new millennium, which is: Ban, baby, ban.

It does not have the same revolutionary charm of, “Burn, baby, burn,” but it certainly captures the sentiment of a people who have lost their backbone, grit and sense of who their forefathers were.

Let’s ban alcohol in the clubhouse and employ alcohol-safe zones in America.

The latter would be in the company of the “gun-free zone” at Virginia Tech, where everyone felt “safe” until the nut job ignored the law.

That is the unfortunate thing about laws.

People routinely ignore them.

Stand at the corner of an intersection for 15 minutes or so and just count the motorists who pull the old half-stop at a stop sign.

That is a small infraction, yes, but one that could have fatal consequences.

We live in an increasingly complex world, ever dangerous, and it takes minds much deeper than ours to decipher all the information and challenges.

Help us, mommy and daddy, with our destiny.

Help us make the correct decisions.

If we can save just one life, all the bans, laws, rules and regulations will have been worth it.

Until all the mommies and daddies can guarantee our safety, we plan to be in the fetal position under a table in the basement.

You cannot be too careful.



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