Thanks to Joe Morgan and several of our readers, there isn't a person on the planet who doesn't know by now that consuming alcohol during prohibition was very much legal. Repeat after us: It was only the mass production, distribution and sales of booze that was illegal. Morgan, of course, raised the issue during ESPN's broadcast of the Phillies-Giants game on Sunday, in which a banner was unfurled in left field that read: "Ruth did it with hot dogs and beer. Aaron did it with class. How did you do it?" The banner was aimed of course at Barry Bonds. Morgan, in trying to defend Bonds, remarked: "The funny thing about that is that, wasn't beer illegal in Babe Ruth's day?" Morgan's gaffe even got play on MSNBC Countdown on Monday, as Keith Olbermann reminded us that, no, beer was not illegal to drink then. (Best part: Olbermann did not mention Morgan by name).
Then this morning, another reader points out that some poor shmuck at the Tampa Tribune didn't get the memo on all of this. Sports columnist Joe Henderson constructed an entire column, which ran today, on the premise that Ruth was doing something illegal when he drank beer during prohibition. From the column:
Babe's "juice" was barley-colored and had a foamy head, and it was also against the law to consume it. If we're going to cramp Bonds for bulking up like some cartoon character, then we also must note that 612 of Ruth's 714 career home runs were launched during the Prohibition era.
Poor dope. Sad, really. So should Joe Henderson become the guest of honor in a return engagement of our weekly feature Why Your Hometown Columnist Sucks? Probably not. It's Florida, after all. They get a lot of things wrong down there.
Joe Morgan Blows Your Mind [Deadspin]