Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Boston Sit-Down Strike

It's a quickly developing story, but everything I've read so far suggests to me that the Red Sox' (and now the Athletics') decision not to get on the plane to Tokyo is more than a little justified.

At issue is whether or not the teams understood the play-in-Japan deal -- which required the players' assent -- to include $40K bonus payments to coaches and staff making the trip. As of now, they aren't getting it, which the players believe is a raw deal. My first impression upon hearing about this was that some sort of miscommunication must have occurred, but the facts reported in the article imply that there is filmflammery afoot:

Both Red Sox manager Terry Francona and multiple Red Sox players who were in on the offseason phone calls regarding the logistics of the trip insist that part of the agreement to make the season-opening trip included the coaches being paid the same fee as the players . . .

. . . 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.
Ultimately this will get resolved -- MLB has way too much riding on this trip from a public relations' perspective for it not to -- but it sure kicks off the season on a sour note, no?

Update: It's all over, nothing more to see here. Frankly, I feel deflated. It's a boring afternoon around these parts, and I hoped that the hostility would have lasted at least until dinner time.


Anonymous said...

First the Cape Cod League snafu, now this. Hey, Bud, I know you've extraordinarily successful in expanding the game and its revenue, but your PR really needs some work.

It's nice to see that there are some major leaguers who can see beyond their own shadow. Nice work standing up for the little people, fellas.

Osmodious said...

You know, it's usually my initial reaction to either agree with someone who points out that such a thing is a PR nightmare, or to say it myself. However, it has started to dawn on me that it really isn't.

Nobody cares. The MLB pulls some unbelievably unfair stuff on the Cape Cod League and nobody cares. MLB tries to screw the Red Sox and A's coaches and nobody cares. List any one of a million injustices that have happened over the past few years and nobody cares.

Why? It doesn't impact them directly. And even then it rarely inspires people to do any more than grumble about it privately. Is it because we feel the 'little guy' just has no say anymore, so why bother? Is it because we actually buy into the BS lines we are fed by our corporate overlords?

Why is it that we can have clear evidence of election fraud and voting machines being tampered with, and nobody says anything...but one guy has 'a little on the side' and the country flips out?

MLB follows the lead of the NFL and abuses the very people who are its most ardent supporters and there is practically silence...but a handful of ultra-competitive jerks take some drugs to try to improve their performance (which we practically demand of them in our need for bigger, faster, stronger) and we start screaming at the top of our lungs?

I just don't get it...