The Philadelphia Phillies are off to a brutal 4-8 start to the 2023 Major League Baseball season after a surprise run to the World Series a year ago.
One bright spot in the start, however, has been left-handed pitcher Matt Strahm.
Philadelphia signed Strahm to a two-year deal in free agency after a solid year with the Boston Red Sox where he pitched entirely out of the bullpen.
The Phillies, however, have used Strahm in a hybrid role this season out of necessity. He’s made three appearances, two of which were starts, and still has not allowed a run through 10 innings.
Strahm has won over fans with his performances, but also with his personality. And now he’s showing some of that personality by speaking out against MLB teams changing their approach to selling beer in ballparks.
Previously, most teams stopped selling beer after the seventh inning. The thought process was that it would allow fans to sober up before leaving the game and driving home.
But with the pitch clock shortening the length of games, teams are selling less beer. Thus, they’re making less money. So something has to change.
Teams are now beginning to extend beer sales until the end of the eighth inning in hopes of regaining some of that lost revenue.
Matt Strahm Takes Shot At Hypocritical MLB Owner Over Beer Sale Policies
Strahm, however, called out the lack of logic when it comes to fan safety on a recent episode of the “Baseball Isn’t Boring” podcast.
(Clip at the 19:40 mark of the linked audio)
“The reason we stopped hitting the seventh before was to give our fans time to sober up and drive home safe, correct? So now with a faster pace 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,” he explained. “Instead, we’re going to the eighth, and now you’re putting our fans and our family at risk driving home with people who have just drank beers 22 minutes ago.”
Strahm continued, “I’m not surprised. When you mess with billionaires’ dollars, to 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. And, again, just being a common sense thinker, I think as a fan of the game, and just looking out for people, it would make more sense he stopped the sales in the sixth.”
Strahm makes a good point on a couple of fronts. For one, the logic regarding safety is ridiculous. But you also had to know that owners weren’t just going to let the loss of revenue slide.
Major League Baseball maintains that the pitch clock is geared at improving the fan experience. But take it at face value at your own risk.