Boston Red Sox – United We Stand

Mar 19, 2008

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

I’m going to ask you to forget about the Monopoly money that is associated with Major League Baseball.  Most of us can’t even begin to imagine the amount of coin anyone associated with the game brings in. 

What the Red Sox players have just done is pretty amazing.  No, it doesn’t compare to teaching kids, rescuing someone from a fire, or serving and protecting, but as far as athletes go, this was pretty amazing.  Many athletes get the reputation (fair or not) of being pretty self-centered and greedy.  However, the Red Sox players bucked that trend today.  They refused to play in their final Spring Training game and will not make the trip to Japan for the Season Opener unless the staff was paid the $40,000 stipend that the players were being paid.  Again, I ask you to ignore the fact that $40K would cover some or all of a lot of people’s salaries for a year, and focus on the Red Sox players’ intentions.  The staff was also promised the stipend, and the Red Sox players agreed that they were all in it together.  I applaud their show of solidarity.

Why can’t baseball just get things right?  If they promised to pay the staff, why would they try to go back on the deal?  Does baseball really need this mess moments before the season is about to kick off?  Haven’t they had enough distractions this offseason?  They should be so grateful that things were lining up for them.  I mean how perfect is it for MLB that Schilling and Beckett are unavailable to pitch and Dice K’s wife delivered early.  To have him start Opening Day in Japan is worth is weight in gold. 

It looks like they are clearing up the mess.  It just shouldn’t have got this far.  Get it right for one baseball.  Just get it right.

Posted by | Categories: MLB |
. .

5 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Mo Morrissey
    March 19th, 2008 at 11:29 am #

    You know, I was going to do something on this, but I’m waffling: on the one hand, the millionaire players could just cough it up on the other it is rather impressive that they’re taking a stand on which they stand to lose a lot more than $40,000 each AND on which they don’t have anything to gain.

    You’re absolutely right, we’re talking monopoly money here as these games mean more to MLB than the additional money it would cost to pay the staff members – in terms of revenue from the games and in terms of future globalization. A couple of games not now played leaves a bad taste in the consumers’ mouth…tough to wash that out.

  2. Eric
    March 19th, 2008 at 11:38 am #

    Sounds like this was the last straw after a lot of things didn’t go the way they were promised. Should be interesting when more comes out. The only thing I question is why they needed to put today’s game in jeopardy. There was a stadium full of fans there, many of whom probably planned vacations around spring training. Seems to me that the threat of not getting on the plane might have been enough.

    I guess they wanted to get it settled ASAP though and they did show several players signing for the crowd. In the end, they’re playing, but the delay cost the fans a chance to see Dice K today.

    Overall, a pretty classy move and I’m sure even the fans there will understand and respect it.

  3. Ryan Lester
    March 19th, 2008 at 12:04 pm #

    Mo – great points
    Eric – from, has been on the frontlines of this developing story. great job sir. Excellent point about making the fans there miss Dice K and threaten their plans. I too think threating the other games would have been just fine. They didn’t have to do it before this game.

  4. Larry Novak
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:11 pm #

    I salute the Red Sox players for standing up for the Coaches, trainers and staff!!
    Now if only if the Players and MLB would cough up a small % of the money they make to help out those players who are having a tough time because they did not have the timing of playing when the players started winning the fights for pay and benifits..

  5. Ryan Lester
    March 19th, 2008 at 7:11 pm #

    Good point. That’s got the headlines in football, but you’re probably right about some baseball players too.

Leave a Comment

Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties