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Matt Strahm raises safety concerns over MLB teams extending alcohol sales

CBS News Philadelphia uncovering the heart behind every headline
CBS News Philadelphia uncovering the heart behind every headline 00:59

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) -- Don't count Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Matt Strahm as a fan of MLB teams moving beer sales back due to the shortened time of baseball games.

Strahm said on the "Baseball Isn't Boring" podcast Thursday that teams should be ending alcohol sales in the sixth inning, not pushing sales back to the eighth in the pitch clock era.

"The reason we stopped it in the seventh before is to give our fans time to sober up and drive home safe, correct?" Strahm said. "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 and drive home?"

"Instead," Strahm added, "we're going to the eighth and now you're putting our fans and our family at risk driving home with people who just drank beers 22 minutes ago."

The 31-year-old Strahm added that it "makes no sense" to him that teams are extending alcohol sales to the eighth inning.

"Just being a common-sense thinker," he said, "just being a fan of the game and just looking out for people, it would make more sense if you stop sales in the sixth."

Teams historically have stopped selling alcohol after the seventh.

At least four teams, per The Associated Press, are extending alcohol sales through the eighth inning: the Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers.

At least one team, the Baltimore Orioles, already sold alcohol through the eighth inning, or until 3 1/2 hours after first pitch, whichever came first.

MLB games have been considerably shorter this season, largely thanks to a series of rule changes, particularly the new pitch clock. Through the first 1 1/2 weeks of the season, the average game time was down 31 minutes, on track to be the sport's lowest since 1984.  

MLB says it does not regulate when teams sell alcohol. Most franchises have used the seventh inning as a cutoff, at least partly to avoid overserving customers who could then get in their cars and drive home.

Strahm also said on the podcast Thursday that he isn't a fan of the pitch clock. 

"Baseball is a beautiful game where it starts and stops with the pitcher and the clock, again it's here to stay," Strahm said. "It is what it is. I'll adapt to it, but as a fan of baseball, I don't like it. Even as a player, it feels like I'm playing more so basketball than baseball. It's just constant up and down."

The left-handed Swiss Army knife pitcher said he's concerned injuries will pile up because of the clock.

As for the ban on the shift and the larger bases, Strahm said he likes the changes.

Strahm signed with the Phillies as a reliever in the offseason but was forced into the rotation because of injuries.

This season, Strahm has 10 scoreless innings across three games and two starts.

Strahm is scheduled to start for the Phillies on Saturday in Cincinnati.

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