Sox Stare Down MLB, Win

It appears the Red Sox have won their showdown with Major League Baseball regarding stipends for coaches and support staff on their upcoming trip to Japan. The Red Sox voted unanimously in a players-only meeting to not take the field against the Toronto Blue Jays in an exhibition game today, and also not board the plane to Japan later this afternoon, if the coaches didn’t receive the money they saw was promised to them.

This is mind-blowing. Not that MLB blinked: What choice did they have? Their flagship franchise (sorry, Hank) was threatening to not go to the heavily-hyped opening of the regular season. It’s mind-blowing because the Red Sox players stood up for the financial well-being of others.

That’s not a condemnation of the Sox players, by the way. By and large they represent some of the classiest members of their profession. That’s a blanket assessment of professional baseball players.

Having covered the National League for several years, I can tell you horror stories of players being chintzy to the point of absurdity on matters like voting playoff shares to the support staff. Not just chintzy: downright mean-spirited and nasty.

I have seen players treat clubhouse attendants like garbage—not to mention press, but who cares about them—who dare disturb them in their inner sanctums. Not all, but more than a few.

The Red Sox players stood up for their own and they should be applauded for it.