I'll Take Major League Coaches for $40,000, Alex
A brief dispute arose on the eve of the Boston Red Sox’ journey to Japan when it was discovered that coaches would not be each paid the $40,000 “appearance fee” that players would receive, which ran 180 degrees counter to what Red Sox players and manager Terry Francona initially believed. The Red Sox threatened to boycott their final exhibition game in Florida and not board their flight to Japan unless the coaches were given the fee. Within 24 hours, the dispute was resolved when Major League Baseball and the Red Sox pledged to go dutch and chip in with the money. The Oakland A’s, who the Red Sox will play in Japan, will also have their coaches dutifully compensated.
Collusions of Grandeur
Union head Don Fehr this week intimated that major league owners might be acting in collusion to keep Barry Bonds from being signed. Maybe what Fehr needs to do is hire Bonds to work in his office for a year. Let the home run king bring in his churlish disposition, his entourage, his recliner and his legal distractions. Then maybe he’ll understand why nobody in baseball wants to hire this guy.
Will Work for Extra Baggage
There was good news for Bonds this week on the legal front; the judge in his upcoming indictment trial has told prosecutors they have until June to rewrite their indictment, meaning the actual start of a trialshould it ever come to passlikely won’t take place until after the 2008 season. This clears the way for Bonds to playif only anyone would sign him.
The End of Dodgertown
The Los Angeles Dodgers played their final game at their renowned spring training complex in Vero Beach, Florida called Dodgertown on Monday, losing 12-10 to Houston. The Dodgers end a 60-year run at Vero Beach, with Tommy Lasorda having been present for 59 of those years as the Los Angeles Times’ T.J. Simers writes. The team will finish its exhibition schedule with some “road” games in Arizona, near their new spring home at Glendale in 2009, before returning to Los Angeles to start the season March 31 against the San Francisco Giants.
Wounded of the Week
Among those who will not be ready to play when the stateside version of Opening Day hits: Milwaukee pitcher Yovani Gallardo, Washington starter Shawn Hill, Los Angeles veterans Nomar Garciaparra and (possibly) Jeff Kent, Detroit outfielder Curtis Granderson, Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez and Toronto third baseman Scott Rolen.
This Great Game Predicts 2008
Early this coming week, look for our annual picks for the best, worst and most surprising (good or bad) teams that we're anticipating for the upcoming 2008 major league season. Look for the fearless forecast in the opinion section.
To All the Rockie Fans Who Hate Us
In June 2005, This Great Game submitted is first opinion piece when Eric Gouldsberry decreed that the Colorado Rockies would never win a World Series. Now read what happened when Gouldsberry walked through his valley of the shadow of deathotherwise known as Denverlast October, when the Rockies were on the rampage to the Fall Classic.