Orioles reliever Darren O’Day says Fenway’s tobacco ban is like banning cheeseburgers

MLB players are banned from using smokeless tobacco at Fenway Park.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - APRIL 10: Relief pitcher Darren O'Day #56 of the Baltimore Orioles smiles while walking off the mound after retiring the side in the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 10, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Darren O'Day isn't pleased with Fenway Park's tobacco-free policy. –Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Baltimore Orioles are the first opposing team to experience Fenway Park’s tobacco ban, which Boston mayor Marty Walsh enforced in September. The Orioles players have mixed about the rule.

“There’s a triple-bacon cheeseburger,” Orioles reliever Darren O’Day, who is the Orioles’ players union representative, told The Baltimore Sun. “Do you really need that? No, you don’t, but the government’s not going to outlaw it.

“I get it,” O’Day said. “We get it. But as I said before, there’s some personal liberties that I just don’t think should be infringed upon. I don’t dip. I don’t smoke. I smoke a cigar once in a while. My dad lives in a community in Florida where you can’t smoke a cigar on your own back porch. To me, that just blows my mind.”


Fans and players are prohibited from using all tobacco products including smoke-free products like vaporizers, chewing tobacco, and snus. Violators of the ban can be fined up to $250 dollars.

“We are not going to be running on the field to issue citations,” Boston Police Lieutenant Detective Michael McCarthy told The Boston Globe. “The purpose of this ordinance is to encourage those who are looked up to as role models to be role models.”

He noted officers are likely to issue warnings, as the language in the law says officers “may” issue fines. The MLB may also issues fines, a Red Sox spokesperson told The Globe.

“We all want to be respectful of rules, and we understand what they’re trying to accomplish,” Orioles first baseman Chris Davis told The Sun. “As a guy who obviously uses smokeless tobacco, it’s always a battle to try to quit when you’ve been doing it for so long.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Davis said of the ban “We’ll see how it goes.”

According to MLB.com, tobacco use among MLB players is in decline.

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