The scene was a familiar one: A team wins a championship and celebrates in the clubhouse afterward. And that’s just what the Cincinnati Reds did at Great American Ballpark on Tuesday night after beating the Houston Astros to clinch their first division crown in 15 years. With players drenched in champagne, Reds owner Bob Castellini broke out cigars, distributing them to all and sundry.
That’s when the troubles began. Ohio state law, as it turns out, bans indoor smoking in such facilities. And at least five concerned citizens called in to Cincinnati’s health department to report the dangerous breach of law. The Reds are now under investigation.
That’s right: The Cincinnati Reds, having bested the Cardinals, Brewers, Cubs, Astros, and Pirates, now have to face the Nanny Staters.
No one is in danger of going to jail. In fact, the health department can’t take any action unless an inspector actually witnessed the violation. (Presumably, none were watching the game.) But according to state law, the department must follow up with an unannounced visit to the site within 30 days. That probably means sending an inspector to a Reds playoff game in the name of protecting the public health and welfare, of course.
You can’t make this stuff up. And it could get worse—rumor has it there was alcohol in that champagne that was being poured. It’s enough to give red tape a whole new meaning.