"Security isn't the issue," says Dodgers general manager Kevin Malone. "Alcohol is the issue." The Cubs have taken steps to ensure that fans are less likely to get drunk: Beer sales are now cut off in the middle of the sixth inning, not the top of the seventh, and beer vendors will stock up only halfway for their final trip through the stands. In a move they say could cost them a few hundred thousand dollars this season, the Yankees have cut off all beer sales in the Yankee Stadium bleachers. Earlier this season the Mets decided to bench their mobile beer vendors in the seventh inning, rather than the eighth, and to cut their four-beer-per-purchase limit in half. The Mets are also cracking down on drinking in the Shea Stadium parking lot, upholding a policy that had often been lightly enforced.
"We're trying to be proactive," says director of Shea operations Kevin McCarthy, who met last week with Major League Baseball executives to plan security for John Rocker's return to Shea, later this month. "We don't want people coming in boozed up, and we want to make it hard for them to get intoxicated at Shea."
A Second Look
June 5-7: Orioles at Mets
During the winter of 1998 the Orioles, fed up with righthander Armando Benitez's slow development and immaturity, shored up their bullpen—or so they thought—by signing free-agent closer Mike Timlin and then shipping the flamethrowing 25-year-old Benitez to the Mets. Since then Baltimore's pen has been a disaster, blowing nearly as many saves (38) as it has converted (39). Now the Orioles get another look at Benitez, who has blossomed into the stopper he was supposed to be in Baltimore. Through Sunday he was second in the National League with 13 saves and had blown just one, while striking out 34 in 27 innings.