Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Red Sox UNITED!!

So I have been absent from the site for a while, save for my post regarding my ability to beat up five year olds. I won't get into detail, but the last week and a half has been, without a doubt, the strangest and most unsettling of my life. Then, with disaster averted, I went on a 48 hour drunk and am back.

I had a bunch of little things I was going to touch on this morning, such as an amazing win by the Celtics, an amazing night for Leon Powe, Troy Brown, and my ongoing search for a minivan. However, when I got in the car this morning to continue my search for said minivan I heard Dale and Holly talking about the Red Sox staging some sort of revolt, and I was overwhelmed with pride and admiration for the hometown team. I was so pumped that I forgot for just a moment that I was going to test drive a minivan, and thus turn in at least one of my balls.

The story goes that the players found out quite by accident that the assistant coaches and support staff would not be paid the 40,000.00 that the players would be getting for the trip to Japan. This seemed to be a surprise to them as that, according to the players, was a major sticking point in them agreeing to make the trip. They would not go unless everyone was compensated. From what I heard, MLB was rather underhanded and attempted to just not pay the support staff and not tell anyone that things had changed. So what did the Red Sox players do? They voted to go on strike. They informed the media and MLB that not only would they not play in a grapefruit league game today, but they also would not board the plane to Japan tonight unless MLB ponied up the cash for everyone.

I love this for a couple of reasons. First, I like that Boston has been leading the charge in hiring quality people instead of just talented players. The Patriots, and the Sox have built winners by investing in, for the most part, good people who put team first. There is no A-rod or Bonds here, just hard working guys who have some ethics. This alone makes me proud to be a fan. Now, I fully realize that they are all millionaires, and we had to pay to keep some of them, so I won't need the hatemail on that. But, it seems to me that we have very few, if any, millionaire assholes.
Second, I like that the players also agreed that they were going to pay these guys their 40 grand one way or the other. They were willing to pay out of pocket. Let's face it, there is about an 87% chance that Manny will never even cash the check, hell he will probably forget it in Japan. He doesn't need 40 grand. However, the bullpen catcher for the Sox makes 30, 000 a year. This 40 grand bonus will literally change his life. Many of the trainers and such make less than 100,000 a year, so 40,000 to them is a lot of money and will change their lives. To many of the players themselves, this money would be there spending cash over there, but they were willing to throw it in the pot to make sure that everyone got treated fairly.

What I mean by fairly is this: the brass at MLB could care less of the strength coach, or clubhouse attendant, or bullpen catcher make the trip to Japan. They could also care less if those people are upset. They are the little people in baseball. What they want is their superstars performing on the world's stage. The 40 grand was little more than a way to ensure that their stars made the trip. What they did not count on that the 40 grand was not what got many of the Sox to make the trip. It was the 40 grand that their support people were getting that enticed them to go.

Lastly, I guess I just like when people stand up for the little people. I can't help it. I love that our beloved Red Sox used their position of power to make MLB do what was right. They had the resolve too, the game was scheduled to start and 12:01, and the only thing the Sox were doing at that point was giving out autographs...for free. The game eventually started at 1:10, but only after the Red Sox demands were met in full.

Make no mistake about it, this is a feel good story, especially if you are a Red Sox fan.

No comments: