Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sox almost boycott Japan

Interesting story developing today about the Sox almost boycotting the trip to Japan. Apparently, during negotiations leading up to the players agreeing to the trip, it was agreed that the coaches and staff would receive a stipend of roughly $40,000 for making the trip. However, yesterday Terry Francona found out that the stipend was being given to the players, but it was not being extended to the coaches and staff. The coaches and staff are not part of the players union and have very little leverage in negotiating these types of issues.

You should be proud, Sox fans, that our players stepped up. They took a vote, and it was unanimously agreed that they would sit out today's spring training game against the Blue Jays, and would boycott tonight's flight unless MLB stepped up and paid the stipend as originally promised. This was confirmed, and most likely instigated, by our very own Captain, Jason Varitek. Well, it seems to have worked - the game got played, and the flight is on.

All I can say is, way to go Sox! Most of the players' salaries are high enough where the stipend will not make a huge difference for them. But, to the coaches and staff, this stipend is significant, and was promised. Past team trips to Japan have provided this stipend, so I'm not sure where MLB missed this.

To me, this is a good sign of a unified team who are all looking out for each other - no 25 players and 25 cabs these days. I can tell you, a tight, unified team will always have more success. We are off on a good foot. Next stop....Tokyo.

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