FanDuel - WFBC

March 19, 2008

The Red Sox and Oakland open the season in Japan with Dice-K returning home to start.: Usually these trips result in a lot of grousing by the players (most famously, Mike Mussina), but there's not a lot of sympathy when you're getting $40,000 for your troubles. Except if you're not: the MLB has announced that while players and managers will receive the stipend, coaches will not. Red Sox players are threatening to walk off the field today if the MLB does not reverse its reversal of its original stance.

posted by yerfatma to baseball at 09:03 AM - 50 comments

It's not entirely clear what the Sox players agreed upon in their closed-door meeting. Rob Bradford suggests they're threatening to not board the plane to Japan.

posted by yerfatma at 09:05 AM on March 19

What a mess it would create if, for some reason, they actually didn't board the plane. There's quite a bit on the line seeing it's not just an exhibition.

posted by dyams at 09:27 AM on March 19

I'd hate to see that mess, but I respect the players for sticking up for their coaches.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:20 AM on March 19

I have to admit I'm really impressed with how the Red Sox players are handling this. It's about the money, of course, but it's money for the coaches and staff, not themselves. MLB should've had this on paper, signed and sealed, before telling the Sox and A's they're going to Japan; this would've prevented reneging on promises, hence the situation coming to this.

posted by NerfballPro at 11:27 AM on March 19

Watching ESPN right now, they're interviewing Varitek in the dugout. The game has not started, and doesn't look like it will unless the Sox players get their way.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:32 AM on March 19

I agree, Nerfballpro. #1-Does MLB actually believe that the coaches should travel to Japan-unpaid-for this game? #2-Was this an oversight? How on earth could both parties involved not have it squared away how they were being paid? Would this happen in the NFL? #3-If the team does boycott the game, how many millions of dollars is the league going to have to shell out to all those who spent money promoting and putting on this game? And will they in turn go after the Sox? Lord, what a mess.

posted by THX-1138 at 11:41 AM on March 19

THX, from what I've heard, and I admit I'm guessing here, is that in these international endeavors that MLB has taken before (other sports too?), the coaches and staff for all teams involved have never been paid before now. I can't back this up with any website or proof right now, but if it's true, chalk this up to a lesson learned by the commissioner, the players' union, and promoters involved. $40K for the staff along with the players? Not that much more money, gang. If you can pony up for 50+ players, you can pay coaches and staff too.

posted by NerfballPro at 12:00 PM on March 19

Looks like some sort of agreement has been reached according to this. It sounds like MLB made a lot of promises that they couldn't keep. I have no idea what or why, but something has to be amiss to get players so riled up.

posted by Howard_T at 12:05 PM on March 19

Does MLB actually believe that the coaches should travel to Japan-unpaid-for this game? According to the Sox players, coaches and manger, MLB had said agreed to pay earlier this winter.

posted by yerfatma at 12:13 PM on March 19

THX, from what I've heard, and I admit I'm guessing here, is that in these international endeavors that MLB has taken before (other sports too?), the coaches and staff for all teams involved have never been paid before now. I'm told that all coaches and staff were paid on the Yankees/Devil Rays trip to Japan in 2004. I'm looking for a source.

posted by swerve at 12:34 PM on March 19

something has to be amiss to get players so riled up Apparently nobody's bothered to examine these agreements or read the fine print before now. Oops! I'm told that all coaches and staff were paid on the Yankees/Devil Rays trip to Japan in 2004. I'm looking for a source. Thanks in advance, swerve.

posted by NerfballPro at 12:36 PM on March 19

"According to Francona, the coaching staffs of previous MLB trips to Japan all were paid the same stipend as the players. The Sox manager was scheduled to join the Oakland A’s coaching staff in its team’s trip to Japan in 2003 and said it was agreed on that the coaches were to be paid. The trip was ultimately cancelled." Boston Herald I'm proud of the Sox for standing up for the staff, and I'm baffled as to why MLB thought it could get away with this.

posted by swerve at 12:50 PM on March 19

According to the spring training game I'm watching right now, the plane leaves in less than 3 hours and so far there's no indication the Sox will actually be on it.

posted by Drood at 01:25 PM on March 19

I am no expert, but to me, this speaks volumes to the inadequacy of MLB's management, from the top on down. They seem to have a "Make sure that under no circumstances do we dot the "I's" or cross the "T's" policy. As a business owner, payroll is a #1 priority. Selig's tenure as commissioner certainly will go down in infamy.

posted by THX-1138 at 01:28 PM on March 19

Selig is paid, what $14M a year for this kind of stuff..get with it MLB!

posted by Landis at 02:08 PM on March 19

And yet he just got renewed, didn't he? It's clear the owners' priorities don't line up with the fans. I'm not sure they ever did, but 100+ years into a sport, some notion of a public trust would seem to come into play. It's amazing they'd let this bad publicity fester over a few hundred grand.

posted by yerfatma at 02:08 PM on March 19

Not surprising at all. The MLB is an organization that believes the rules do not apply to them. They already have the antitrust exemption. They persistently try to deny fair-use exists. They disable legally downloaded videos with no recourse.

posted by aerotive at 03:50 PM on March 19

And yet people still give them their eyeballs so they continue to make money.

posted by Drood at 04:41 PM on March 19

Sounds like the MLBPA is part to blame too. In the past compensation for the coaches came from the players pool. But for some reason the coaches were eliminated from the pool this year. Oh, and before anyone gets all pissy about Pete Abraham's comments about the Sox being greedy and whatnot, he's being sarcastic.

posted by goddam at 04:46 PM on March 19

he's being sarcastic Sort of. Wallace Matthews, on the other hand, is not. All the angles are covered at the Providence Journal's blog.

posted by yerfatma at 09:06 AM on March 20

I watched Sports Center late yesterday and all is well now... There was an hour delay on the game, but everything was worked out... I guess the MLB thought the teams should pick up the tab for coaching staff and trainers... They teams still are for part of it, but at least now the MLB is paying part of it... I'm sure the league is getting a big chunk of change for playing in Japan...

posted by bruce2ww at 09:24 AM on March 20

With the nationally televised game no doubt helping the Sox’ cause, Major League Baseball and the Players Association worked frantically to broker a deal. Around noon, MLB proposed to pay $20,000 per employee, but the Red Sox players rejected that. “Half isn’t equal,” third baseman Mike Lowell said. Lowell said that Red Sox brass then stepped in and agreed to temporarily subsidize the remaining $20,000 per employee. * It sounds like a complete screw up in communication. Oh, and before anyone gets all pissy about Pete Abraham's comments about the Sox being greedy and whatnot, he's being sarcastic. Yeah, but that's his Shtick, isn't it? Fenway's a dump, all red sox fans are drunk, red sox players are loud mouths and yankee players are colorful. Which is fine. There's plenty of sox sites that play that same game (though most aren't getting paid gigs). Regardless if there's truth in any of those statements he knows they're going to bring angry sox fans to the board. Then he complains about boston trolls and ugly emails? Either he's simply trying to drive traffic to the site or he doesn't grasp how the internet works. It's no wonder the comment section is such a wasteland. He leads by example. /off topic

posted by justgary at 11:24 AM on March 20

Yeah, I don't get Abraham either. The Projo blog used to regularly link to him as a voice of reason on the other side, but that obviously wasn't paying the bills. Or something.

posted by yerfatma at 12:14 PM on March 20

Did you guys see Jeff Pearlman's piece in Maxim? He just calls Boston fans a bunch of complete assholes in the first paragraph, and then essentially repeats that paragraph for a further two pages. You guys were more well-liked when your teams were pathetic. Shit - you can't win can you?... Except for, well, all the actual winning. I thought this was a good move by the Sox. I would endorse that kind of thing. But do these guys need $40,000 for what amounts to a week in Japan? Really? What an odd universe.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 04:17 PM on March 20

But do these guys need $40,000 for what amounts to a week in Japan? Really? What an odd universe. Hookers and blow.

posted by justgary at 04:24 PM on March 20

Hookers and blow. Hmmmm. My lawyer suggests I don't need $40,000 for that. Also, my accountant says that's not what I'm paying. Maybe they're getting hookers made of blow. Ahhhhh - the upper crust. How they live!

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:05 PM on March 20

Come on weedy. Aren't you in Canada? Japan is expensive. So I've heard.

posted by justgary at 05:12 PM on March 20

Weedy: Anyone who puts any weight on ANYTHING in that piece of shit magazine clearly needs to get out more. justgary: Japan IS expensive. I recall hearing Tokyo is the most expensive place on Earth to live.

posted by Drood at 05:17 PM on March 20

Maybe they're getting hookers made of blow. Now that's worth 7 diamonds!

posted by YukonGold at 06:19 PM on March 20

All this stuff going on, can anyone tell me if Oakland actually made the trip to Japan? I haven't heard one thing about them. With all this attention being paid to the Sox, maybe the Oakland can come in, under the radar, and start the season with a few wins.

posted by dyams at 09:28 AM on March 21

From that Maxim article: "What is there to say about a city whose biggest contributions to popular music are Aerosmith, Boston, and New Kids on the Block?" That you conveniently overlooked the Pixies, douche.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:19 PM on March 21

I noticed that too, Venice. That's how I measure the significance of a city as well. By what kind of popular music originated there. Screw art, culture, world leaders, baked beans, or tea parties. Maxim has pictures of hot chicks, so it has to be my life compass. No, seriously.

posted by THX-1138 at 03:23 PM on March 21

Link to the article? I find your man magazines and their websites very confusing.

posted by jerseygirl at 05:43 PM on March 21

You can only link to Maxim's pictures.

posted by YukonGold at 06:32 PM on March 21

The words are ephemeral, like Boston lyrics. Can't pin 'em down.

posted by yerfatma at 11:15 PM on March 21

Yeah I feel the same way when I read Glamour.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:39 AM on March 22

Only for the articles, of course.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 10:13 AM on March 23

I had better hear Robin Meade tell me we invaded that country while they were watching the game. Still pissed about '41.

posted by smithnyiu at 05:24 PM on March 24

Still pissed about '41. August 6, 1945 still probably sticks in their mind, too.

posted by dyams at 07:53 AM on March 25

Thanks dyams, master of the obvious. Asshat.

posted by smithnyiu at 09:16 AM on March 25

You're welcome, smithnyiu, master of the original stupid statement. Dickhead.

posted by dyams at 09:56 AM on March 25

I thought about adding some kind of caveat, or defense when I suggested the Maxim article - something about having a brain, or just reading that one article, or not purchasing the terrible rag, or the like. But fuck it. Pearlman writes for SI - he wrote this clap trap for Maxim - I bought it. Let rain the judgements! Anyway - Hookers made of blow are expensive in Japan.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:29 AM on March 25

sorry dyams. You can't pull me into this fight. I stopped picking on lesser developed minds a long time ago. Move on.

posted by smithnyiu at 10:48 AM on March 25

Seeing you're the one who started it, smitynyiu, that's a good way to go. Let's recap: You make a comment out of nowhere, take issue with my reply, call me a name as well, now jump back on me with another jab. Yeah, you're one intelligent, classy dude. Take your own advice a bit earlier next time.

posted by dyams at 12:04 PM on March 25

dyams, I have been on here from time to time, and have always found your comments well thought out, intelligent, and sometimes funny. I am a little surprised you found my comments offensive, given the fact that we are playing opening day of our national pastime in the very country that invaded us, unprovoked, a generation ago. Yeah, it does piss me off. Too bad. A quick look at your profile shows you have made 1,944 comments and posted 48 links since joining SpoFi. Life is short, bro. Get one.

posted by smithnyiu at 12:34 PM on March 25

smithnyiu, I'm fine with you resenting the Pearl Harbor attack. Many US citizens do. It was your use of the word "we" that actually got me going. What you need to remember is SportsFilter is on the world-wide web. Not every member, or reader, is a citizen of the USA. Many are from other nations around the globe, and I'm sure a few, at the very least, are from Japan. My feeling was your comment about invading Japan (saying I had better hear Robin Meade tell me we invaded that country while they were watching the game), in the midst of a thread about baseball, was in poor taste. Many lives were lost in Pearl Harbor, and life was altered in a major way when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. There are traumatic feelings with regards to both sides of the tragedy. I sometimes find myself posting here thinking this site only reflects the United States point of view, but am quick to remember anyone around the world could log on and have relevant feelings that may conflict with mine.

posted by dyams at 12:59 PM on March 25

dyams, once again, I find your comment well thought out and intelligent. I feel like the Asshat now. Those are very good points, and only an idiot would retort. So to not show my ass any more, I offer my apology to anyone that found my comments off color.

posted by smithnyiu at 01:15 PM on March 25

And, in the interest of historical accuracy, the Japanese actually didn't invade us. They bombed and torpedoed the holy living shit out of us, killed nearly 4,000 of our people, and decimated our entire Pacific fleet on a Sunday morning, less than three weeks away from Christmas, but they didn't invade.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:41 PM on March 25

I've never heard 4,000 as the number of casualties. Everything I've read puts the number of US troops and civilians killed at around 2,400 (From the link: The overall death toll reached 2,350, including 68 civilians, and 1,178 injured. Of the military personnel lost at Pearl Harbor, 1,177 were from the Arizona). Horrific nonetheless, obviously.

posted by dyams at 04:51 PM on March 25

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