The Reds recently locked up the championship of the National League Central Division, which mean that they are assured of being in the playoffs. That's a pretty neat little feat for a team that hasn't been to the playoffs in 15 years or so. Anyway, they win this game and, as sports teams do, they retreat to the clubhouse to celebrate, where they proceed to spray one another with beer, chug gallons of champagne, and smoke fat stogies. You know, celebration stuff. In fact, owner Bob Castellini passed out some victory cigars for players and staff alike. This being said, the Cinicinnati Reds are a sports team, and so there was a bunch of media in the locker room covering the celebration, including a television crew beaming out live images to the people of Cincinnati and - assuming you have the right TV package - the world. It was when this TV crew flashed a picture of Mr. Castellini smoking that victory cigar in the clubhouse that things because to get a little, well, fucking retarded.
|Apparently Reds owner Bob Castellini is engaging in|
a criminal act. AP Photo/Tom Uhlman
And why bother? Perhaps it was the principle of the whole thing: that they shouldn't be smoking inside. Maybe it was because the five people are super anti-smokers. Who knows. But all these complaints are sort of almost for naught, thanks to the way that the Ohio laws are worded. First of all, for the first offence there is a warning letter. Then a $100 fine. Then $500. Eventually the fines work their way up to $2500 by the fifth violation. Hmmm...I think that the owner of a Major League Baseball team would be able to afford a couple of hundred bucks, don't you? Secondly, it is not exactly easy to get to the level of where you are being fined. The Cincinnati Enquirer asked Cincinnati Health Department spokesman Rocky Merz about how they would go about enforcing these violations. Rocky told them that a warning letter will be sent out, then a health inspector has to go down to the Great American Ballpark at approximately the same time that the violation occurred on a different day and actually catch someone smoking. With his or her own eyes. Then it's on with the letter. Then if the same daisy chain of events occurs again, it will be a fine. And so on and so forth.
Needless to say the county and the team declines to comment. In some situations the health inspector can interview witnesses but since all the complaints were anonymous, that isn't going to happen. So in the end, essentially nothing is going to happen to Bob Castellini or his division champion Cincinnati Reds. Nor should anything. Even if this is strictly against the letter of the law, which is it, the health department officials should use their better discretion to allow this one to slide, especially since enforcement of it will be so difficult anyway, and because the fines would be so small. And to all those overly uptight Ohioans who took the time to call in and complain, please take a moment to get your heads out your asses. Think about what you are doing, because you are wasting a lot of time, money, and goodwill with your pig headed-ness. Or at least conform, and I want you calling in every violation of every law and ordinance that you see for the rest of your life. And God forbid you ever roll through a stop sign or jaywalk across a street or go anything over the posted speed limit anywhere from Conneaut to Harrison, because I will be watching you and your hypocrisy and you will never live it down. P.S, Congratulations Bob and all the Reds. Best of luck in the postseason. Light one up for me.