A few Major League Baseball stadiums will be selling alcohol through the eighth inning in order to combat shorter games due to the implementation of the pitch clock.
With games roughly 31 minutes shorter this season, four teams have announced that alcohol sales will be extended beyond the traditional seventh-inning cutoff.
A beer vendor holds Coors Light and Miller Lite beer cans at American Family Field on June 24, 2022, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
The Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers and Minnesota Twins have all made alcohol available through the eighth inning as games have sped up, according to The Associated Press.
But not everyone is on board with the idea.
Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Matt Strahm joined the “Baseball Isn’t Boring” podcast and pushed back on extending beer sales.
“The reason we stopped it in the seventh before was to give our fans time to sober up and drive home safe,” Strahm said. “Correct? So now, with a faster-paced game, and me just being a man of common sense, if the game is going to finish quicker, would we not move the beer sales back to the sixth inning to give our fans time to sober up and drive home?
Beer vendor Rocco Caputo at work during a game between the Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field on Aug. 23, 2022, in Chicago. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
“Instead, we’re going to the eighth [inning], and now you’re putting our fans and our family at risk driving home with people who just drank beers 22 minutes ago.”
Rick Schlesinger, the Brewers’ president of business operations, said the team will extend beer sales on an experimental basis and has not ruled out going back to the seventh-inning rule.
“If it turns out that this is causing an issue or we feel that it might cause an issue, then we’ll revert to what we have done previously,” Schlesinger said.
MLB’s average game time is on pace to be its lowest since the 1984 season.
Matt Strahm of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the New York at Yankee Stadium on April 4, 2023, in the Bronx. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
“When you mess with billionaires’ dollars, they find a way to make their dollars back,” Strahm continued. “But 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.”
“Again, just being a commonsense thinker, I think as a fan of the game and just looking out for people, it would make more sense to stop the sales in the sixth [inning].”
The Associated Press contributed to this report