Ballplayers aren't Cincinnati's only 'Reds'

Anthony W. Hager
Is nothing sacred? Is there no limit to the lengths busybodies will go to rule every aspect of our lives? Apparently there isn’t. Not even baseball, America’s pastime, nor a victory celebration can escape the bureaucrat’s oversight or the anonymous meddler’s nosiness.

The Cincinnati Reds are the National League’s Central Division champions, heading to the playoffs for the time since 1995. It’s a monumental accomplishment, the culmination of a dream shared by innumerable ballplayers since Little League. A celebratory moment is warranted following their successful march through the tough slog of the Major League season. So Reds owner Bob Castellini distributed cigars in the Reds locker room after the team clinched and players puffed a smoky salute to their triumph. That’s where the fun ended.

The Reds’ cigar party occurred inside the team clubhouse and was broadcast on television. Five “whistleblowers” saw these outlaws and phoned Ohio’s smoking ban hotline to report their dangerous assault on public safety. While it’s possible that jealous Cubs or Cardinals fans are behind the complaints, that doesn’t mitigate the nature of the anti-smoking “whistleblowers.” They are meddlesome tattletales in desperate need of a mission other than snooping in their neighbor’s business.

The Reds’ cigar party violated Cincinnati’s indoor smoking ban. City inspectors will now investigate--including possible undercover trips to Cincinnati’s playoff games--to determine if the scofflaw Reds will continue sneaking illicit smokes. Just how many murderers, rapists, burglars and assorted thugs will wander Cincinnati’s streets while taxpayer’s money is used to ensure public safety inside the Cincinnati Reds clubhouse?

How long should we stand for such lunacy? How long should the blatant waste of resources remain acceptable? Is there no end to the gullibility that allows government to transform erstwhile private citizens into bureaucratic stooges, anonymously spying on our neighbors? Above all, how long will we tolerate the incessant assault on private property and personal decisions that pass for “public safety” initiatives?

Obviously the clubhouse at Great American Ball Park isn’t the only place to find “Reds” in Cincinnati. It isn’t the only place to find “Reds” in America. Tyranny is expected from the Nancy Pelosi sect. But it’s unnerving when “everyday” Americans consider it good citizenship to snitch on their countrymen’s private affairs. Isn’t it time to root out these useful idiots among us, these petty tyrants, and expose their treachery?

Anonymous tip lines that encourage people to tattle on their neighbor have become all too common. If the Reds’ cigars are such a serious offense, let the offended come forward, like adults, and openly air their grievance. Since they obviously lack the courage to take a public stand, let these mice return to their holes.

Move aside cowards and let the bold dogs can bark. Let the barking commence at the Reds’ first home playoff game. I’d like to see the entire Cincinnati starting nine take the field with stogies in their mouths, just for a show of solidarity.

Although I’m a non-smoker and a Yankees fan, I’ll put my head on the block alongside the Reds. I will smoke a cigar--indoors, of course--if Cincinnati wins the World Series. What’s more, I will video my tribute and send a copy to the Cincinnati Health Department. Consider it the “puff heard around the world.”


Anthony W. Hager has authored more than 250 articles for various newspapers, periodicals and websites. Contact him via his website, www.therightslant.com. 


Is nothing sacred? Is there no limit to the lengths busybodies will go to rule every aspect of our lives? Apparently there isn’t. Not even baseball, America’s pastime, nor a victory celebration can escape the bureaucrat’s oversight or the anonymous meddler’s nosiness.

The Cincinnati Reds are the National League’s Central Division champions, heading to the playoffs for the time since 1995. It’s a monumental accomplishment, the culmination of a dream shared by innumerable ballplayers since Little League. A celebratory moment is warranted following their successful march through the tough slog of the Major League season. So Reds owner Bob Castellini distributed cigars in the Reds locker room after the team clinched and players puffed a smoky salute to their triumph. That’s where the fun ended.

The Reds’ cigar party occurred inside the team clubhouse and was broadcast on television. Five “whistleblowers” saw these outlaws and phoned Ohio’s smoking ban hotline to report their dangerous assault on public safety. While it’s possible that jealous Cubs or Cardinals fans are behind the complaints, that doesn’t mitigate the nature of the anti-smoking “whistleblowers.” They are meddlesome tattletales in desperate need of a mission other than snooping in their neighbor’s business.

The Reds’ cigar party violated Cincinnati’s indoor smoking ban. City inspectors will now investigate--including possible undercover trips to Cincinnati’s playoff games--to determine if the scofflaw Reds will continue sneaking illicit smokes. Just how many murderers, rapists, burglars and assorted thugs will wander Cincinnati’s streets while taxpayer’s money is used to ensure public safety inside the Cincinnati Reds clubhouse?

How long should we stand for such lunacy? How long should the blatant waste of resources remain acceptable? Is there no end to the gullibility that allows government to transform erstwhile private citizens into bureaucratic stooges, anonymously spying on our neighbors? Above all, how long will we tolerate the incessant assault on private property and personal decisions that pass for “public safety” initiatives?

Obviously the clubhouse at Great American Ball Park isn’t the only place to find “Reds” in Cincinnati. It isn’t the only place to find “Reds” in America. Tyranny is expected from the Nancy Pelosi sect. But it’s unnerving when “everyday” Americans consider it good citizenship to snitch on their countrymen’s private affairs. Isn’t it time to root out these useful idiots among us, these petty tyrants, and expose their treachery?

Anonymous tip lines that encourage people to tattle on their neighbor have become all too common. If the Reds’ cigars are such a serious offense, let the offended come forward, like adults, and openly air their grievance. Since they obviously lack the courage to take a public stand, let these mice return to their holes.

Move aside cowards and let the bold dogs can bark. Let the barking commence at the Reds’ first home playoff game. I’d like to see the entire Cincinnati starting nine take the field with stogies in their mouths, just for a show of solidarity.

Although I’m a non-smoker and a Yankees fan, I’ll put my head on the block alongside the Reds. I will smoke a cigar--indoors, of course--if Cincinnati wins the World Series. What’s more, I will video my tribute and send a copy to the Cincinnati Health Department. Consider it the “puff heard around the world.”


Anthony W. Hager has authored more than 250 articles for various newspapers, periodicals and websites. Contact him via his website, www.therightslant.com.