Jim Leyland Has "A Problem" with Michigan's New Smoking Ban

Jim Leyland was a guest on "The Jim Rome Show," guest-hosted by Detroit Free Press scribe and WDFN-AM host Drew Sharp, and his radio co-host Matt Shepard, when the topic of conversation turned to the new smoking ban in Michigan. Leyland, it seems, was unaware the ban pertains to Comerica Park. ↵
↵⇥“Is it banned all over? Leyland asked. ↵⇥

↵⇥When told that Comerica Park certainly would qualify as a public place, Leyland admitted it might create a dilemma. ↵⇥

↵⇥

↵⇥“Really … then I’ve got a problem,” he laughed. “Houston, we’ve got a problem.” ↵⇥

↵
↵The particulars of the ban really do put Leyland in a box, and the skipper even admitted he'll do his best to adhere to the new rule, but expects to cheat every so often. Come on, every so often for a guy like Leyland has to be, what, cutting back to two packs a game? ↵

↵But there is hope for Leyland. According to the website Michigan Policy Network, there are a few major exceptions to the new smoking ban. ↵

↵
↵⇥One exception is for cigar bars and tobacco specialty retail stores. Both businesses must file an affidavit with the department, and after approval, they are allowed to permit smoking of only cigars in the cigar bar, or in the retail store customers are allowed to smoke. The bill contains specific definitions of cigar bars or retail stores and the actions that must be taken in order to be considered one of either type of establishment. The second exception is for casinos. The bill states that casinos which have been established before the date that the bill takes place are permitted to allow smoking in the gaming area of the casino only. But, casinos established after May 1, 2010 are not allowed to permit smoking. A clause in this bill exempts casinos that are operating under the Indian gaming regulatory act. ↵
↵So there seems to be a few easy solutions for Leyland. First, he can convince the Tigers to open a smoking lounge with elevator service to the clubhouse. Heck, put it in the clubhouse. Or, and this might be more fun for fans of the team, turn Comerica Park into a casino. Put a slot machine at the top of each section, video poker on the backs of every seat and throw a few table games on the concourses. It's a win-win. ↵

↵If that fails, he could always try one of those "smokeless" cigarettes. Besides, Leyland has until May 1, 2010 to smoke as much as he wants. If the Tigers are in first by then, nobody will even notice a few puffs coming out of the dugout. ↵

↵

↵(H/T Bless You Boys) ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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