Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Noble Red Sox

I'm not going to get carried away and rant about the Red Sox and their threatened boycott yesterday, but I have to chime in on it. Members of the media are eating this story up, making it out to be a "rich looking out for the not-so-rich" tale. It certainly is respectable that the Boston players wanted to stand up for their coaches and make sure they get some extra cash. But the point everyone is missing is that they are already getting paid to be coaches. The players are getting $40,000 each to play in Japan. That's on top of the $20 million that Manny Ramirez is making. How come no one is crying about greed on that one? It is a part of their jobs to go to Japan and play, to be put up in lavish hotels and have their ways paid for to play a game. On top of that, they get the stipend. Wallace Matthews, whom I don't always agree with, has an excellent article that backs up my point in today's Newsday. If you don't feel like reading the whole thing, here are a few excerpts: "If a free junket to Japan was worth $40,000 a man to the Red Sox, a side trip to Virginia Tech, with all the inconvenience and emotional strain it must have caused the players, should have been worth, oh, I don't know, $1,000 each? Of course, the Yankees made that trip for free, because it was the right thing to do. From George Steinbrenner, who wrote a $1 million check last spring, to Derek Jeter, who always seems to say and do the right thing in his role as team captain, the Pride of the Yankees was on display Tuesday." "For the record, Manny Ramirez is making $17 million a year, J.D. Drew $14 million, David Ortiz and Curt Schilling $13 million each, Jason Varitek $11 million, Mike Lowell $9 million, etc., etc. If those guys are so concerned about the plight of their coaches, any one of them could have handed over his $40,000. Or, started a collection among the players, say 10 grand each, for a fund to be split equally among the staff. But to threaten not to perform a duty you are contractually obligated and monetarily compensated to perform is not heroism and it is not admirable. Pure and simple, it is a shakedown."

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