During my recent coffee-nursing, noon-wakeup, underwear-only reading of Jeff Passan's work over at Yahoo! Sports -- discussing how teams promote top prospects to their 40-man rosters to shield them from minor league rules on marijuana -- I couldn't help but chuckle.

Not at Passan's writing. He's insightful, and he genuinely seems to care about facts and logic, plus all those other things that make for nostalgic sports writing. No, sir, I tittered at how the solemn representatives of Major League Baseball went on record, saying that they would never promote a player for such a heinous reason as helping the player avoid punishment for criminal behavior.

Hours later, I'm still giggling about it.

Of course, I get why they would say that. I mean, would you expect a big-league club to respond any other way? If they said, "Yeah, if we like the guy, we'll call him up so he can blaze that chronic in peace," heads would explode.

It's far better to paint the picture of a prospect's promotion as part of the natural progression of his career: He was always going to get called up. To say it was anything else would be to condone marijuana use -- which, in case you were wondering, Major League Baseball totally does condone. God, does it ever. One big-league team even had a "green room" where you could toke up while you were at the ballpark. Smokeless tobacco may be the trendy drug lately, but marijuana has its own presence in baseball, and it's growing.

As far back as I can remember, players were getting high. Guys in the minors, on or off the 40-man, would take apples from the locker-room spread, hollow them out and then sneak behind dumpsters and smoke an apple pipe. In Triple-A, the now-defunct Portland Beavers would hide in stadium supply tunnels doing the old puff-puff-pass before jumping a knuckleball fight over the Rocky Mountains. I've even seen coaches toking up with their players.

No one says a word about any of it. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. It all falls under the code: What happens within the team stays within the team. If that weren't the case, a guy could snap pics of another player getting high and turn it in to the organization, in the hopes of expediting his own career over someone else's. Never happens.

It's a long season, and smoking isn't remotely the worst thing ballplayers are capable of doing in their idle time. I'd much rather see a guy baked at the hotel -- giggling hysterically over a rerun of Jackass -- than passed out in a random neighborhood kiddie pool after a night of heavy drinking courtesy of breaking into the stadium beer concessions. (The owner of the kiddie pool was furious!)

The issue here isn't the innate evil of weed, but rather that Major League Baseball once again has made ridiculous rules for minor leaguers, restrictions that don't extend to the majors, creating loopholes and double standards along the way.