March 20, 2008

Extra Extra! Papelbon Doesn't Read Books

Around the time the Red Sox and Blue Jays were supposed to begin yesterday's exhibition game, MLB proposed to pay $20,000 per employee -- not the $40,000 fee it originally promised. The Red Sox players rejected that. Mike Lowell: "Half isn't equal." At that point, management agreed to kick in the remaining $20,000 and sort out the issue with MLB at a later date.

I'm not sure MLB can look any worse that it has in this case. It wanted two teams to start the season in Japan, so it agreed on appearance fees for players, coaches and trainers, then reneged on its promises to off-field personnel, ignored Terry Francona's phone calls for two days (which put the lie to the "miscommunication" defense), learned about a possible boycott of a nationally televised game several hours in advance, and still failed to resolve the issue. The money involved is mere peanuts to this multi-billion dollar industry. It's shameful. (For its next trick, perhaps MLB will cancel the dental insurance for its Park Avenue office employees.)

The Courant and Globe each have a timeline of the day's events.

Francona:
I don't appreciate that coaches are [viewed as] second-class citizens. That has never sat well with me. We're over there representing Major League Baseball, and we've talked about doing it with class, but this is disheartening. This is hard to understand. We were told [they would be paid] and the players believed it, too. I double-checked on this [over the] winter.
As I type this, the team has already landed in Tokyo. Jonathan Papelbon planned to play Texas Hold 'Em the entire flight. "My plan is to slow play the [expletive] out of them and take all their money. ... I don't read books."

Alex Cora went to Japan for an series of exhibitions against Japanese All-Stars in November 2004 ("See, I really was an All-Star") and he loved the experience.
I guess I felt the same way Americans feel when they come to Puerto Rico and everyone is speaking Spanish. I went to Japan and everyone was speaking Japanese. It was just a great experience. ... [Hideo Nomo] took me out one night to one of the best restaurants I've ever been to. The food might be an issue to some people but, to me, it was awesome. It was just a little hole in the wall, but probably the best sushi experience I've ever had.
Because of the delay (and possible cancellation) of the Jays game, Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched for Pawtucket at the minor-league complex. He threw 78 pitches (50 strikes) in six innings against Rochester (6-3-1-1-8). John Farrell thinks Matsuzaka will throw about 85-90 pitches in the opener on Tuesday.

Josh Beckett threw a 45-pitch bullpen session Wednesday morning and will likely work in a minor league game on Sunday. Farrell: "[H]e proved that there were no restrictions when he got on the mound ... and surprisingly the arm strength hasn't suffered that much of a setback."

Bartolo Colon was assigned to minor-league camp.

9 comments:

tim said...

ITS ALMOST HERE! :-)

AAAAAAAND i get to work in hamilton next tuesday and wednesday - therefore no commute - therefore get to watch the whole game!

Jere said...

Yesterday at 10:53 AM, a commenter here said

"A the very least, I'm sure Henry could give the coaches their money due out of his pocket, get the team over there, and sort it out with MLB later."

I think the team reads your blog...

What a smart guy that commenter was. Handsome, too.

Zenslinger said...

The food might be an issue to some people but, to me, it was awesome.

I ate the best food of my life when I lived in Tokyo -- and San Francisco is supposed to be pretty good.

L-girl said...

I ate the best food of my life when I lived in Tokyo -- and San Francisco is supposed to be pretty good.

SF has great food, so that is really saying something.

But so many people are afraid of unfamiliar food. In the first games in Japan, announcers made a big deal out of sushi, as if they had never seen it before. Yeesh.

phrenile said...

Kielty really needs to wear a hat when he's wearing those red uniforms.

SoSock said...

I like the comment that he ate at just a hole in the wall, but it was the best he'd ever had.
Probably much like pizza in NY. The dingiest hole in Brooklyn has better pizza than anything we can get here in NC

Jere said...

The title of this post cracks me up every time.

I just read that Bobby Valentine's pissed that our Japan games are taking place right as their season is opening up. Literally. I guess I'd be pissed, too. You'd think MLB would...nah, scratch that.

Article also says Valentine, back in '05, proposed his Japanese champion team play the champion White Sox in Hawaii. I never knew that. MLB should get on that. A real World Series.

Wow, me agreeing with Bobby Valentine twice in one day....

SoSock said...

Wow, me agreeing with Bobby Valentine twice in one day....

I hope the tulips in hell haven't bloomed already as they have here, for...

I think I understand a little more why you guys have such a severe case of dislike for the Buck/McMoron team.
I've been watching some of the NCAA games and I HATE it when these national CBS guys come in and try to call a game involving any ACC team, especially my Heels.
They speak of things that ANYBODY in NC would have known since birth, and often get it wrong to boot. I heard one guy say during the Duke game just now, "Well it looks they're going to reset the clock to 3 seconds, which is critical for Belmont because under 3 seconds you can't turn and shoot, it has to be a tip-in"
3 seconds is an eternity in a basketball game you idiot, it's under 3 TENTHS of a second that the rule says you can't catch then shoot. The Belmont player had time to catch the ball, take 2 steps and still put up a pretty decent attempt, although it fell short.....dammit. Our regular regional announcers would never have made a blunder like that, and they actually have an extensive knowledge of the teams and players they are talking about.
You must get serious baseball people calling games there and so have a lower tolerance for mediocre game analysis. I often hear those 2 say stuff I think is stupid, but I'm used to it because that's all we ever get here.
BTW - the Duke/UNC rivalry is the ONLY thing that comes close to Yankees/Red Sox, which is still very much alive and well, as Jere confirmed so decisively recently.

9casey said...

SoSock said...
BTW - the Duke/UNC rivalry is the ONLY thing that comes close to Yankees/Red Sox,

Being a College hoops fan I wil agree with you , but if somehow , and i hate the NBA, If the Celtics -Lakers can make it to the finals this year that would really ignite a rivalry that has been dormant for years...

Sidenote : saw in SI that Double HH is dating the Penthous Pet of The Year.....not bad at all.......