threatens discipline for players who violate smokeless tobacco bans

Baseball Many around baseball have expressed skepticism that smokeless tobacco bans recently instituted by cities from coast to coast will have any teeth.While the notion of police officers patrolling dugouts and doling out $100 fines to millionaire offenders seems rather absurd, Major League Baseball is intent on ensuring that its players and staffers follow the letter of these particular laws. MORE: Baseball players who defied age | 's most-hated playersAn official told ESPN that players who violate municipal ordinances banning tobacco use will be subject to discipline by commissioner Rob Manfred, adding an extra layer of intrigue to an already divisive issue in the sport. "Players or anybody in baseball found to have violated a law are subject to discipline from the commissioner," chief legal counsel Dan Halem told ESPN. "Smokeless tobacco laws are no different."The league has had its eye on tobacco restrictions for some time. Minor leaguers have been banned from using tobacco for years, and attempted to get a similar provision for the majors into the 2011 collective bargaining agreement. The Players' Association refused to agree and apparently would have a similar response if baseball follows through with the measures Halem described. An official told ESPN that " would have a fight on their hands" in that case.Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco are among the cities that have recently passed bans on smokeless tobacco at sports fa

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cilities. All of those ordinances would punish violators with fines of various amounts, but the enforcement mechanism remains unclear.