|No more giant Uggla tobacco ball, popping out of his mouth and grossing us out! YAY.|
MLB released a copy of the collective bargaining agreement today. Besides uninterrupted baseball for the next five years, can you guess what my favorite part is?
VIII.. HEALTH AND SAFETY
a. Players, managers, and coaches will be prohibited from using smokeless tobacco during televised interviews and Club appearances. In addition, at any time when fans are permitted in the ballpark, players, managers and coaches must conceal tobacco products (including packages and tins), and may not carry tobacco products in their uniforms or on their bodies. Individuals who violate the policy will be subject to discipline. The parties also agreed upon an extensive program of education and public outreach regarding the dangers of smokeless tobacco.
Look, if you want to have your teef fall out and get all kinds of mouth cancer, I suppose that's your business. But children see athletes differently than (most) adults do -- we can see the circles in their back pockets and still have no desire to put a pinch in our lips, but children want to do everything their idols do. He has a certain brand of glove? He wears high top cleats or low top cleats or baggy pants or short pants?
I think this was a wonderful move. There are a lot of other great things in the CBA, but really, this was my favorite. If you're interested in reading an extended story on the ban on visible tobacco, please check out this article on ESPN.com.