UPDATE – 12:50 PM Eastern – Baseball is afoot! It appears as though the game will go. Several Red Sox players have come out of the dugout with bats and gloves and are running on the field and stretching and the like. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:10 – David Aardsma vs. Brian Tallet.

UPDATE – 12:45 PM Eastern – Man, updating nothing is fun. The players only hung out in the dugouts for about 10 or 15 minutes, with the Jays leaning over the railing and some of the Sox signing autographs.

The 12:30 “deadline” came and………………nothing happened. No more announcements, no Bostons emerging to sign autographs, no nothing. Yee-ha.

UPDATE – 12:10 PM Eastern - All the players are in the dugouts, but there’s been no resolution yet. The Red Sox players have informed us that if the game doesn’t start by 12:30, they’ll come out of the dugout and sign autographs for fans along both base lines.

The PA announcer just informed the fans that the start of the game has been delayed “due to a dispute between the Red Sox players, the MLB Players’ Association and Major League Baseball.” The announcement was met with a chorus of boos, but the announcement about the autographs followed, so everybody is happy.

Diasuke Matsuzaka is moving to the minor-league complex to pitch in a AAA game.

UPDATE – 11:50 PM Eastern - Coco Crisp and DustinPedroia came out onto the field, did some sprints, then ran back into the dugout. Not sure what that means, but I thought you might like to know.

11:40 PM

The Blue Jays are here and so are the Red Sox, but there may be no baseball played on this beautiful Wednesday afternoon in Fort Myers.

Just a quick note here, because I’m also cutting up tape to get to Barb DiGiulio for the updates, but the Red Sox are furious with Major League Baseball’s decision not to pay their manager, coaches and trainers the same $40,000 that the players are getting for their season-opening trip to Japan, on which they’re supposed to be leaving this afternoon. Curt Schilling said that a promise was made, verbally, to pay the staff the same as the players.

When the Jays got here, Sox player rep Kevin Youkilis went over to Jays rep Vernon Wells to fill him in on the situation, and the deal evidently is that the Red Sox players are refusing to play this game AND to get on the plane to Tokyo unless MLB ponies up the dough.

Right now, the scheduled first pitch is 25 minutes away. No word yet on whether it will fly.

Oh, and also – Armando Benitez can’t pitch. In a game, that is, until he gets a work visa. He’s in the country on a visitor’s visa, because he didn’t have a job when he came up to do the tour of Spring Trainings looking for work. Benitez was scheduled to throw Grapefruitically either tomorrow or Friday, but that’s not going to happen now.

B.J. Ryan is another story. Bruce Walton (here while Brad Arnsberg stays behind in Dunedin with Shaun Marcum) said that Ryan felt fine yesterday after being sore following his outing in Bradenton on Monday, but couldn’t say whether or not he’d pitch as scheduled tomorrow.

More when more happens!

12 Responses to “Jays and Red Sox – a labour dispute!”
  1. 1.

    I guess if this game doesnt happen its even better that Marcum stayed back to pitch in a b game. They just said on espn that Dice-k will be pitching in a minor league game today too now.

    - Tom
  2. 2.

    so there will be no game today?

    MW: Dunno yet.

    - Dan Moore
  3. 3.

    thanks for the quick update mike, I’m just heading out for lunch and am hoping i can see the first couple inning on the tv in the local watering hole. so hopefully this thing gets started quickly for my own personal viewing enjoyment

    MW: I wouldn’t bet on it.

    - Dan Moore
  4. 4.

    When do the Jays need to make a decision concerning Shannon Stewart? If they choose Stewart, what happens with Johnson – does he become a free agent?

    MW: One would think that the decision has to be made before Opening Day, but I don’t know of any provision that there’s a specific date by which the Jays have to inform Stewart of whether or not he makes the team. Johnson becomes a free agent if the Blue Jays release him, which may well happen, but not until the end of camp.

    - Aaron Ker
  5. 5.

    Interesting how we don’t hear that the A’s are making a big stink They’re in the same boat, going to Japan and all.

    I know I’m just a small town guy from Southern Manitoba but I don’t see how atheletes who make millions of dollars a year can quibble about money that any one of them could easily pay out of their own pockets.

    Any thoughts Mike?

    MW: My thoughts are that it’s wonderful that these athletes, many of whom make millions of dollars a year, are willing to take a firm stand to support the people who work with them. Would you be willing to pay the equivalent percentage out of your own pocket to people you work with if you felt they were being taken advantage of?

    - Jeff
  6. 6.


    Blair said Cecil was supposed to start and I was excited to see him. Any idea what happened?

    MW: Cecil is pitching tomorrow, though Kane Davis will probably start.

    - Eric
  7. 7.

    Nevermind, that’s tomorrow.

    MW: Right.

    - Eric
  8. 8.

    What I don’t understand is why this came to their attention just before the game was scheduled to start. Talk about a lack of communication and another embarrassing MLB debacle.

    - Brett V
  9. 9.

    I guess $40,000.00 to them is like $20.00 to me so, yeah, I’d be willing to stick up for my co-workers. I know that’s easy to say but I like to think I have some character and that I’d go to bat for my fellow man in that situation.

    Thanks for the prospective.

    MW: I think your prospective, as you put it, is a bit skewed – some of these guys make boatloads of money, but many of them only make one boatload or two. As an employee, would you be willing to give 5% of your pre-tax earnings to your support staff?

    - Jeff
  10. 10.

    In a time when all we hear about is steriods and…(well that’s all we hear about in Toronto). This is a refreshing story regarding Professional Baeball players that won’t get 1/10 the air time of Roger Clemons and his former Trainer. Why do the players always get the bum rap in stories like this one and no one ever mentions that MLB and it’s owners are the sympathetic figures? There the ones trying to short change the Boston coaches and trainers! I am so impressed with the Red Sox protest this afternoon I will never boo them again when they come to the Roger’s center…well at least untill the 3rd inning on April 4th.

    MW: How on Earth are MLB and its owners sympathetic figures??????

    - Ryan
  11. 11.

    I find it very unnerving that the whole stance of the Red Sox was to emphasize that this was not about money but about principle.

    Who are they kidding? It is true, the MLB should not have re-nagged on a promise; however, let’s be serious. It was ALL about money.

    I love how they were saying these guys make only 80 G’s. Of course that is nothing to the players but it was insulting to average joe’s watching because that is a lot of money for any normal person. It’s not like they had to pay for their flight or hotel while in Japan.

    The second thing that irked me real good was that they were going to jeopardize the game today. All I remember seeing was the faces on the children who had come down from Boston to see their players. People plan vacations to see their team. They can’t get tickets at Fenway so they plan a family vacation for spring break in hopes to see their team for a change.

    These players were actually going to refuse play because of this. I think perhaps they knew MLB would give in but nevertheless the look of disappointment on the young one’s faces was something really discombobulating for me.

    Anyways, I was thrilled the kids finally got to see the game as well as myself; coincidently having the afternoon off this rare day.

    MW: I’m sorry to hear that you were discombobulated, but I think the Red Sox did the right thing. It was pretty low for MLB to back off its promise to give the coaches and support staff a share of the money that the series in Japan made, especially given the fact that they had always been paid before on previous trips. It’s not about how much money the players make, relative to the coaches, it’s about fairness and, yes, principle.

    Now, I don’t think the players should be breaking their arms patting themselves on the back for this, like Kevin Youkilis seemed to be in the news conference during the game, and I also wonder what would have happened if the players had pooled all their money and separated it into full shares for themselves and the training staff, but that’s not the point. The point is that MLB tried to save a little cash by backing out of a verbal agreement and trying to take advantage of the group that makes the least money and has the least leverage, and that’s shameful.

    - Lindsay T. Fox
  12. 12.

    Hey is the issue with Benitez the same thing Miguel Tejada is dealing with?

    - Matt
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