Celebratory Cigars Land Reds in Hot Water With Cincy Health Department
A departmental spokesman told the Cincinnati Enquirer that five people called a hotline after members of the Reds were seen puffing on stogies handed out by team owner Bob Castellini. Castellini, pictured at right, will be notified of the alleged violation via letter.
We're all for protecting the lungs of non-smokers so there isn't much problem with the law banning smoking in public areas, but you really have to ask if this is the intended purpose of the law. It's one night, a particularly special night at that, and not, we imagine, the normal state of affairs in the Reds clubhouse. Did anyone make sure to get a head count so that the fire marshals could sign off on things?
The best part of this ridiculousness is that the investigation can't even use the smoking gun evidence to slap the Reds on the wrist. The video of players smoking isn't allowed to be used because a health department investigator has to actually see the smoking. That means an investigator has to go out to the ballpark at the same general time and hope that every night is cigar night. Even then there's no fine, just an official violation which the Reds can appeal.
Seems like a pretty good use of tax dollars.
There is another option. The investigators could interview witnesses, but that won't work in this case because all five of the complaints were filed anonymously. That's right, these five people were so offended by the fact that baseball players were smoking cigars in their locker room that they complained about it, but not so upset that they actually want to see anything done about it.
Let's get those citizenship medals polished up!