Sounds like the beginning of a cheesy joke, right? Only the punchline is that Joe Smith never actually made it into the bar; he was stopped at the door by the bouncer for lack of identification. What happened next wasn’t very funny – a fight broke out at the entrance to Roundhouse (does anyone else think of Patrick Swayze and “Roadhouse” when you see that?) an establishment in Put-in-Bay. After that, the police were contacted.
Going by the report from Channel 5, the bouncer asked for identification to prove that Smith was older than 21. When he did not have any ID, the bouncer would not let him enter the bar. Smith and his friends tried to point out that, “yes, he’s over 21…he pitches for the Cleveland Indians.” Now before any players complain that it’s not fun to play in Cleveland because bouncers don’t recognize you, I should point out that Joe Smith is pretty normal looking. He even has a pretty common name – Joe Smith. It’s not like he sports some bionic arm, or is likely to look different from any other guy out at the bar on the weekend. It’s not a given that people are going to recognize you, even if they know who you are (unless you’re wearing your full uniform, cleats included).
This is obviously a problem for other major leaguers as well. According to Deadspin, a drunk (now retired) Chuck Knoblauch attempted to hit on some women on the G Train in New York recently. He kept telling them he played baseball, even expressed a hatred for Boston…yet the women didn’t realize who he was until after they exited the train. To them, he just looked like any other random, fat drunk guy wearing chef’s pants. Maybe MLB needs to get these guys some little ID card, “Yes, I play(ed) in MLB” to make it easier for them to get into bars and to pick up women when they’re stuck without a photo ID.
So what to take away from the Smith incident? Nobody was officially arrested, charged, or cited, and it doesn’t seem like anybody was injured during the fight. (Unlike the time that Beau Mills, Jerad Head, and Josh Tomlin were arrested for assault in 2010 in Akron for their roles in a bar fight). It seems like something harmless, where Smith and his friends wanted to hang out in the bar but were not allowed in. Tempers just happened to flare from that point forward.
Although in my head this incident ended when Joe Smith sidearm punched a few people, then roundhouse kicked the bouncer. That’s what Patrick Swayze would’ve done.