Joe DiMaggio was once asked, "Why do you play so hard in a game that means nothing for your team?"
The Yankees were already in the playoffs and just finishing out the rest of the season.
He replied, "Because there's at least one person in the stands that has never seen Joe DiMaggio play before." It's one of my favorite Joltin' Joe quotes.
This attitude was most certainly not displayed on Wednesday, March 19, 2008. I turned on ESPN to relax and watch some spring training baseball, but alas, the game was delayed by more than an hour.
Bus breaking down? No.
Field unplayable? No. It’s none of these!
It’s the Red Sox being greedy.
There was a disagreement with MLB regarding compensation for the trip to Japan for which the Red Sox will leave after the March 19th game.
Steve Phillips—who used to be the General Manager for the New York Mets and is now an analyst for Baseball Tonight—said that when this first happened in 2000 (when the Cubs played in Japan) there was no “extra” money or “compensation” for the trainers, coaches, or players.
The same was true in 2004 when the Mets—the team that Phillips himself agreed to bring over to Japan—were not compensated either.
Phillips said the players got a royalty fee, but the trainers and coaches did not.
How much of what the Red Sox are telling us is true? Who’s supposed to get paid—the trainers and coaches, or the players alone?
Phillips went on to say, “The underlying problem here is that the funds have been taken away from their [the Red Sox players] families to travel with them.”
It's probably the players being greedy for themselves instead of looking out for other people.
Jason Varitek met with reporters and is quoted as saying, “It’s no longer about money, it’s about principle. It’s to take care of the people who take care of us.”
Varitek was paid $11 million dollars in 2007 to hit .255 and 17 HRs. The year before he hit .238 with 12 HRs and was paid $10 million.
Why doesn’t he take some of this money and give it to the trainers and coaches that he says, “Are our extended family and do everything for us”?
I’m not taking anything away from the “captain” because he’s an amazing player—the best pitch caller in the league, in fact.
But he needs to look in the mirror and think about what and how much he gets paid to do—play a kids game.
It’s no secret that I’m a Yankee fan and that my hatred for the Sox runs deep. But if you’re a fan who regularly attends games of any nature, you should agree with this viewpoint.
Players don’t really know how difficult it is to go to a game, especially for a popular team, such as the Red Sox or Yankees.
When you go to a game there’s a lot of preparation involved: what time to leave to beat traffic, what route to take, how much money to bring, where to park, should you tailgate or not, who you are meeting up with, when and where you are meeting this person, how much to drink at the game, what to do after the game, how much to spend, etc., etc.
I think that this is a huge black eye for the game of baseball (another one) and for the Red Sox.
Baseball held back promised funds, so exactly how will the players and coaches trust them again?
The Red Sox received bad PR, delayed a television broadcast, made the other team (the Blue Jays) wait, get stiff, mess up their rotation. And they made the fans wait and probably spend more money that were already at the game.
I know it’s a meaningless spring training game, but you have to think about the fans. They’re the reason the game exists.
When the players did come out onto the field most of the fans booed the players. And this was a home game for the Red Sox.
For the first time in my life, I have to say that I love Red Sox fans.