20 Mar 2008
As I write this, the Red Sox are on a plane heading to the Eastern lands Actually, they are flying West, but you they will end up in the East.
That behind us, it was an interest past 24 hours for the Red Sox. Firstly, the players threatened a boycott of the entire Japan trip over a pay dispute for coaches and staff. Previous trips to Japan had coaches and staff getting a stipend, but for some reason this trip did not. When it became apparent, the Red Sox players tried to right a wrong. And please, don’t try and educate me on the greater nonsense of this issue. I understand that $40k for a trip to Japan for the players is a joke. But I do think that equal pay for equal effort is important here. If an assistant trainer is not going to get a stipend, then his/her ability to afford such a trip might be limited. Again, $40k is a joke, but equal pay for equal effort is my stance (I think $100 a day would suffice frankly).
Here’s what we know: Daisuke Matsuzaka will start game 1. Jon Lester (seriously, who’d have thought this) will start game 2.
Terry Francona has made it clear he will not risk injury to win these 2 games. No pitcher will pitch back-to-back to games. In addition, MLB allowed Boston to bring 30 players with 3 needing to be declared inactive prior to game 1. That means there will be a bevy of arms available during the 2 game set. Overuse should not be an issue.
Bartolo Colon was assigned to minor league camp, presumably in an attempt to get him some more work. He was never a candidate to start game 1 or 2, so him pitching in warm Florida is a good idea. My guess is that when he is ready, he’ll be on the big-league squad. If I am not mistaken, he needs to be on the roster prior to game 3 in Toronto to have his contract guaranteed.
2 exhibition games and then 2 real games (3/25 and 3/26 early AM) in Japan and the season is underway. This season came very quickly.
Question: What’s your take on the AL East this year? Here’s my take:
Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles (O’s will be deep in 5th, they blow). As an FYI, Boston Herald writer Tony Massarotti has it: Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees, Rays, O’s. Interesting.