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.
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!