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Interesting take on the Sox/Japan situation


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Imagine if you will, my friends, the following .scenario: Your boss tells you he or she needs you to do your job, the job he is paying you good money to do, in Japan, for a week.

You will be flying first-class, on a private, chartered jet to be used only by you and your colleagues. It will be an eight-mile-high, 18-hour, open-bar, free-movies, fully-reclining-seats party in the sky. Your bags will be packed for you by .lackeys. You won't have to worry about wrestling with endless security lines, rude airline employees or nasty TSA agents. You can even bring your shampoo in your carry-on.

You will arrive five days before you have to play a game that matters, just to chill out and get your bearings. You will stay in a luxury hotel and receive the kind of treatment .usually reserved for heads of state or rock stars. When you return, you will be given a few days off to recuperate.

Yes, their coaches and staff should get the same stipend the players get

Yes, if Major League Baseball won't respond to their queries, they have to do something

No, the players should give the staff a cut of their $40,000 stipend

No, because the people who really lose out are the fans

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Best of all, you will never have to put a hand in your .pocket because all your .ex.penses will be paid by the company.

You say, "Sounds great, boss. Now throw in 40 grand and we got a deal."

Think about that before you start anointing the Red Sox as some kind of working-class heroes for their "job action" Wednesday in defense of their coaching staff, who turned out to be in on the junket, but not in on the bribe.

Because there really is no other way to look at what baseball and the Red Sox "negotiated" as fair compensation for doing what the defending world champions, and their coaching staff, were already being paid to do: Play baseball. As bribery.

Certainly it is wrong to stiff the coaches if you've already agreed to pay the players. If you're bribing 30 players, why not bribe a half-dozen coaches as well?

But that's not the point. The fact that the Red Sox even have to be paid "appearance money" in order to appear to do their jobs takes away any of the "heroism" a lot of the team's shills and fanboys are sure to heap upon them. Today, this is certain to be spun as a noble move on the part of millionaires standing up for thousandaires, a rare example of the pampered coming to the defense of the exploited.

It is nothing of the sort. It was a stickup when it was agreed to, and it remains a stickup today.

Contrast their grubby little move Wednesday -- threatening to stiff their faithful out of the final exhibition game of the spring in protest -- with the .Yankees' display of generosity and class on the campus of Virginia Tech on Tuesday, and it leaves you with one question: Just exactly which one is the Evil Empire, anyway?

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.

Wednesday, it was followed by the Shame of the Red Sox.

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.

It doesn't even matter whether the players demanded the extra money to make the trip, or if MLB offered it as a pre-emptive strike. Both sides know the way the game is played these days: You want a player to go the extra mile for you? Pay him.

Want him to go the extra 6,711 miles for you? Pay him $40,000. Or else.

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You know what though? Major League Baseball is and continues to make money hand over fist in the Asian market and will collect a big pay day especially with the Red Sox (because Dice-K and Okie). I don't see what the big deal is about paying people to go over there. The losing team of the Super Bowl, World Series and the like all get bonuses. Major League Baseball asks a lot of it's players (probably why a lot of them have turned to cheating by using PEDs), it isn't too much to expect something of MLB in return. If this was the A's that did this so their coaches were going to get paid (and I'm pretty certain they were doing the same we won't go unless everyone gets paid) it wouldn't have barely made a blip on the radar.

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Oh and by the way, this guy and his schedule is way of. The Sox were expected to arrive today, play a couple of exhibition games, then play two games that count, come back and then a day later have a few more exhibition games in LA and then start the regular season. It's not the most grueling schedule, but with time zones, jet lag, etc it isn't easy either.

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