Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Feels like they were off for more than a day

Congratulations to Ryan Kalish who got the call up and will be reunited with his SeaDogs teammate Josh Reddick in Pawtucket.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

Congratulations to Ryan Kalish who got promoted and will be reunited with his SeaDogs teammate Josh Reddick in Pawtucket. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

Long weekend plus Red Sox off-day plus waking up at 4am to what sounded like Armageddon, plus almost-dead MacBook Pro = very late post today.  My MacBook has been on its last legs for a while and while it isn’t totally dead yet (I’m waiting on a replacement power cord to hopefully fix the major issue) it’s quite close.  So today I’m borrowing a netbook and hoping for the best.  It’s been a while since I used a PC and, I have to admit, I really miss my Mac.

But enough whining.

The Oakland A’s are in town for a 3-game series before the Sox hit the road again.  Tonight we get John Lackey going against Gio Gonzalez.  Lackey has a 5-3 record and a 4.84 ERA and opponents are hitting .287 against him.  While none of those numbers are exactly good, the still sound better than I expected.  It feels like he hasn’t won a game, hell, it feels like he hasn’t recorded an out.  Neither of those things is true, though.  So there’s still hope.  Tonight we have hope that Lackey will shake off whatever the suck is that has a hold of him and pitch like I damn well know he can.

Having the live chat tonight will, hopefully, help Lackey out.  🙂  This will be the first live chat that we have when Lackey is the starting pitcher (so far we’ve done two Lester games, two Beckett games and one each for Buchholz and Matsuzaka)  they each didn’t get all the wins, but the team did which, right now, is much more important.  But it would be nice for Lackey to get into the same kind of groove that both Buchholz and Lester are in right now.

One side note:  Adios, again, to Jonathan Van Every who is back on his way to Pittsburgh, having been traded for minor league catcher Josue Peley.  I know it’s the life of a ball player and JVE will be just fine, but I can’t help being frustrated for him.  Hopefully things work out better for him this time.

The plan is, as always, to start up at 7pm ET – so please join us if you’re so inclined while we hope the chat mojo works for the Sox’ 7th Tuesday win in a row!

June 1, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

I hate having to wait for a game the day after a loss

Jonathan Van Every was designated for assignment to bring back Jacoby Ellsbury.  I hope he clears waivers and ends up back with the organization.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

Jonathan Van Every was designated for assignment to bring back Jacoby Ellsbury. While I'm thrilled that Jacoby is back, I'm sad for JVE. I hope he clears waivers and ends up back with the organization. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

If Papi had hit that grand slam last night I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to speak today.

But he didn’t.  And the Sox lost 5-1 in their first interleague game of the season and I’m, oddly, not really troubled by that.

I AM troubled by John Lackey.  I was thrilled when the Sox signed him and I don’t think his troubles right now are  a true indication that the signing was bad but he is struggling and it’s almost John Smoltz-like painful to watch.  I don’t know what’s wrong, don’t know if he knows what’s wrong, but it needs to be fixed fast.  To see two of our pitchers go into the ninth inning and then watch Lackey hit 107 pitches in five innings is like being in a speeding car that suddenly smashes into a brick wall.  And I don’t want to spend the rest of the season speeding along and hitting that brick wall every time he pitches.

Instead of Saturday afternoon baseball, because MLB thinks we really don’t enjoy that, we get 7:10pm baseball – on Fox.  Lovely.  I’m thinking tonight is one of those nights when the volume goes off and the radio goes on (although with the subway series in New York there is a good chance we don’t get McCarver and Buck – there’s always hope!).  And at least now we all get to go out and enjoy the beautiful day without concerning ourselves with baseball for a little while.

Daisuke Matsuzaka takes the mound tonight.  If he’s having a bad game every other game…we get a good one tonight, yes?

May 22, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

You know we're far from sober

One of the few bright spots on the team so far!  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ ad used with permission.

One of the few bright spots on the team so far! Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ ad used with permission.

I had work to be done last night and I watched the game with the sound off so I wouldn’t be distracted.  Every so often I would look up from the laptop and see someone running around the bases and think “it’s going to be a long game”.  I had no idea.

One of my favorite tweets of the night came from Joe Giza at WBZ:

All I know is the Yankees must be pretty ticked that the Red Sox would play a game at this slow a pace without them.

And that was, pretty much, the only amusing thing about last night.

(Let me digress for a moment…I noticed on the NESN website that there is an interview with Jonathan Van Every – welcome back, JVE! – conducted by Heidi Watney.  Is she back?  Am I so oblivious to her now that I didn’t notice her during the games on Sunday or last night?  To be fair, I only watched some of the game on Sunday and last night’s without sound, but still, I didn’t think I disliked her so much that I would erase her from my mind any time she showed up on tv.  I’m glad she isn’t injured any more but I certainly didn’t miss her.)

Anyway.  All of Red Sox Nation is ready to start the novenas for Josh Beckett but one Tony Lee over at NESN has some good(?) news for us:

If Beckett is searching for some sort of excuse, he could point to the issues he has had throughout his career at Rogers Centre, where his ERA after six starts now stands at 9.28. But even a casual observer could see that what Beckett was throwing Monday would not translate to success in his own backyard.

If he is looking for a pick-me-up, he could look to last April. The right-hander gave up 23 earned runs in 28 2/3 innings in April 2009, but was 15-4 with a 3.33 ERA thereafter. Eerily, he finished this April giving up 23 earned runs in 28 2/3 innings.

Everything that could go wrong this season, so far, has. Okay, not everything, it still could be worse.  I’d rather not think about how much worse the already ugly season could be right now.  But things are pretty damn bad.  Still, winning three out of these last four games, no matter how ugly they all were, has to be moderately encouraging.  The Red Sox are 5.5 games out of first place on April 27th.  That doesn’t sound as bad as I expected it to.

I’m not sure if I want to find out that there is something physically wrong with Beckett, so they can fix it, or if I’d prefer it’s just some whacked issue he and his pal Lester have about pitching in April.  What I really want, though, is to watch a Red Sox game where they get the lead, keep the lead, and the starting pitcher doesn’t get beaten up.  I’d like a few of these in a row, thanks.

Extremely jealous of Mets fans today!  They get a real doubleheader starting at 4:10pm because their game against the Dodgers got rained out last night.  I’d love to go to single admission doubleheader at Fenway Park.  I’ve been to one where they had to herd everyone out, clean up the park and the herd the new crowd in…it’s fun but I think a true doubleheader would be even more fun.

Tonight Clay is on the mound against Shaun Marcum.  There has to come a point when the starting pitchers (for the Sox!) all get their acts together, right?  We’ll find out together!  Tonight is the second Toeing the Rubber Live Chat of the season.  Hope to see yo there!  (So far we’re 1 for 1!)

April 27, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

And there's been a lot of broken dreams

Kelly O'Connor took this photo of Greg Montalbano at the Lowell Spinner's Alumni Dinner in January 2009 (Used with permission)

We lost Greg Montalbano in 2009. Kelly O'Connor took this photo of him at the Lowell Spinner's Alumni Dinner in January 2009 (Used with permission)

Just a note of warning:  This entry is long and although I want it to be all-encompassing, I’m sure I’ve missed  few things.  But this is pretty much how I remember 2009!


2009 was a fairly eventful year for me personally in both the good and bad categories.  Sadly more bad than good which is probably why I initially avoided writing any kind of recap for the blog.  But while I was writing my recap of the Red Sox decade (and I’ll have that up as soon as I finish it!) I realized I should probably write something about the final year of the decade as well.  So here goes.

January:  I started blogging at  Looking back on my entries for this month, I’m genuinely surprised I found so much to write about (it didn’t stop new readers from complaining that I was writing “drivel” though.  Should have been a sign!).  Personal highlights in January:  The ongoing Jason Varitek saga, the signing of Rocco Baldelli, Kyle Snyder getting picked up by the Mets, the beginning of the MLB Network and Jim Rice finally gets voted into the Hall of Fame!

February:  Bombshell of bombshells for MLB.  Selena Roberts exposes Alex Rodriguez as a steroid user.  The MLB Network cuts its teeth on this one and, unlike Peter Gammons and ESPN, doesn’t disappoint with their coverage.  Unafraid of losing access to the players (again, unlike Peter Gammons or ESPN), they go full throttle on this story and introduce us to their newest addition to the network:  Bob Costas.  I wrote a lot about MLBN in 2009 and a bit about Sl*ppy.  I would have written much less about the two, most likely, had this story not broken.  Personal highlights in February:  The Caribbean World Series on MLBN (I was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed it!), Truck Day, pitchers and catchers reporting and Joe Torre’s book about the Yankees.

Chapter 10: The End of the Curse. When asked by Regis Philbin the other day what happened to the Yankees over the past 7 years, Joe responded “The Red Sox happened”. That will go down as possibly my favorite Red Sox/Yankee-related quote ever.

March:  I spent a lot of March writing ‘rants’ and pointing folks toward baseball-related Twitter accounts.  Must have been resting up for April!  Personal highlight in March:  The WBC.  I spent a lot of time ranting about players getting hurt and how I didn’t care who won only to be totally sucked into it by the end.

April:   The beginning of the season!  Lots of liveblogging and picking up more WEEI readers (with mixed results!).  Personal highlights in April:  Going to both Sox/Mets exhibition games at CitiField, attending Opening Day at Fenway and high-fiving JD Drew and Hideki Okajima during their introductions, being at Fenway for the walk-off win against the Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury stealing home on Andy Pettitte, Tim Wakefield taking a no-hitter into the 8th inning (thus setting the table for his All Star selection), watching Jonathan Van Every pitch while Javier Lopez floundered in right field then eventually getting DFA’d (watched on television, not in person), the Patriots Day game where Luke Scott got all pissy and some idiot fan threw a ball onto  the field and “Toeing the Rubber” getting nominated for a New England Sports Blog Award in the category “Best Red Sox Blog”. Relatively speaking, a great month except for one thing that really hit the baseball world hard and made the month miserable:  the death of Nick Adenhart.

But I don’t cry because of any personal connection I have to Nick. I don’t cry because a future baseball star is dead. I cry because parents lost a son today. Many people lost a friend. And the world lost someone who could have potentially been great. Not just at baseball but at life. No drunken ass has the right to take that away from us. This doesn’t “put things into perspective” for me. I hate when people say that. I’m forty years old for God’s sake, I’ve seen enough death and tragedy in my life to have proper perspective, thank you. I don’t watch baseball and think that what goes on down on that field is life or death and more important than anything else in my life. I’d argue that most sports fans, even if they act like they have no perspective, have exactly that. Baseball is an outlet to forget about the realities of life for a few hours.

May: Getting to see Daniel Bard’s first Major League appearance (after having seen him pitch in Pawtucket) was very special.  Finding out that Jerry Remy was recovering from cancer was sad and a little frightening.  Personal highlights in May:  Seeing Kyle Snyder with the Bisons at Pawtucket, Javier Lopez signing Steve the Ferret’s “Lopez” jersey (also at Pawtucket), Aubrey Huff fistpumping to Joba Chamberlain, appearing on “The Baseball Show” on Comcast SportsNet, crying (literally crying) over Big Papi’s first home run of the season, getting to meet metsgrrl and “paloozaing” with a huge group of people I love during the Mets/Sox series at Fenway.

Yesterday was an amazing day spent with friends (most of whom I haven’t seen in quite a while or hadn’t met yet!). There are many amazing tales to tell (but not here!) – my favorite being when our friend Susan noted that we could start singing “O Canada” except no one knows the words past “O Canada!”. Standing up and singing loudly and proudly, a group of us proved her wrong. That our serenade didn’t get us thrown out still kind of surprises me.

June:  This month brought us the end of interleague play, the end of Jonathan Van Every’s season (thanks to knee surgery), Tim Wakefield hitting ten victories with his torn labrum, John Smoltz making us all wonder why we were so excited to have him on the team while Dusty Brown makes his major league debut.  Personal highlights for June:  Derek Lowe returning to Fenway with the Braves, Nick Green’s walkoff against those same Braves, sitting in Fenway during a mind-numbing rain delayed game that turned into a loss for the Sox (okay, that one is a lowlight, really) and the Sox capping off 7 wins in a row against the Yankees with an eighth.

Continue reading

January 3, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

I hope she looks like you

Bronson with Tim Wakefield in Cincinnati last year. Photo taken by Kelly O’Connor/ and used with permission.

I link to it on the sidebar but I should mention it more in the blog. “It” is Dan Hoard’s blog “Heard it from Hoard“. Dan is one of the PawSox radio broadcasters and he blogs on a solidly regular basis. If you’re looking for information on the newest members of the PawSox or if you’re just looking for random bits of baseball trivia, Dan’s blog is the place to go.

The reason I bring it up now is because I was told via email that Jonathan Van Every has decided to part ways with the Red Sox but I couldn’t find any news of this anywhere…until I went to Dan’s blog:

Van Every’s season ended in mid-June due to knee surgery. Boston took him off of the 40-man roster on July 8th to make room for Jed Lowrie, and released Jonathan 10 days later when the waiver period ran out.

The Red Sox wanted to bring him back next season, but we’re hearing that Van Every has agreed to a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

I can’t blame Van Every for wanting to take a sure thing rather than hold out and wait to see what the Sox would do next year – but I’ll miss him being with the team. He was a lot of fun to watch in Pawtucket and seemed to really make the best of his time while he was in Boston. I wish him a lot of luck and I hope he’s healthy next season.

In non-MiLB news, word is that the Reds have Bronson Arroyo on the trading block. I don’t think for a minute that the Sox would be interested nor that the Sox need a Bronson Arroyo but I’ll totally admit to a bit of a charge at the idea.

Dan also mentions that Saturday night is Jon Lester bobblehead night. Fitting since he’ll be pitching in Boston. If you can make your way down there I highly suggest trying to get in a game at McCoy at some point this year. Given the expected crowds, though, Jon Lester bobblehead night might not be the best night to try that!

July 25, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , | Leave a comment

It's too high to get over

Jonathan Van Every in happier days. Photo taken by Kelly O’Connor/ and used with permission.

I only watched Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN intermittently last night so I missed Joe Morgan’s jab at the Red Sox. I found out about it thanks to Ken Tremendous and Twitter:

@KenTremendous – Morgan: “Boston has stumbled a little in the last couple days.” Actual, measurable reality: Boston is 6-2 since last Saturday, 17-7 in June.

And let’s add to that Boston being 11-7 in interleague games, just for fun. Then Yankees (the AL team Morgan was covering when he brought up the Sox) are 10-8 in interleague this year. Since last Saturday, the Yanks are 5-3 and they’re 14-11 in June.

Let’s keep going. Yankees and Red Sox each played in 8 series in June. The Yankees won five out of their eight (only sweeping the Mets in this last series) and the Red Sox won 7 out of their 8 series and they swept 2 of them (including the Yankees).

I know I should be used to Joe Morgan (or Tim McCarver or anyone else on television) saying ridiculous things. What really tears me is that he says these things just as filler for his having to do actual research for his job – and no one questions him. No one bothers to say, “Gee, Joe, the Red Sox aren’t stumbling at all. Just because the Yankees are playing well on a day when the Red Sox happened to lose doesn’t mean you have to bring up the Red Sox in a negative light!”.

How can you look at anything the Red Sox have done in June and say they’re stumbling? Would I have liked them to sweep every series? Sure, you bet. But winning them is good enough. Would I have preferred they stay ahead of the Yankees by winning on the same days the Yanks do? Of course. But, again, the series wins seem to help that all even out in the end.

I hate when someone feels obligated to stir things up just for the sake of it. When Mr. Tremendous entertained us at “Fire Joe Morgan” at least there was SOMEONE willing to call the Hall of Famer out on his ridiculousness. Now we have no one. Now, Joe Morgan will be allowed to say insipid, untrue statements every Sunday night and sit there happily in his ignorance while baseball fans everywhere bang their heads against their televisions.

On a more serious note, pvs to Jonathan Van Every. He had his knee surgery last week and it turned out to be more serious than they expected – so now he’s out for the rest of the season.

Van Every had exploratory surgery last week to repair damage to his left knee. The hope was that the problem was a meniscal tear, which would have kept Van Every out for a month. But the damage was more extensive than anticipated, and a more significant operation was performed.

Without getting into medical specifics, Johnson said that the procedure should likely keep Van Every out for the rest of the year.

Never news you want to read. Van Every, as just about all Sox fans will remember, hit a game-winning home run in April against the Indians and followed that up the next night by pitching an inning of relief against the Rays. (He then went back to Pawtucket, where during his first game back he hit a ninth-inning grand slam to tie the game and help the PawSox eventually win.) He’s a personal favorite of mine (and a fan favorite as well, it seems!) and as someone who has plans to hit Pawtucket a few more times this year, I’m really disappointed I won’t be able to see him play. The recovery process will be long but I hope it brings him back next year stronger than ever.

Interleague…she is over!!! Tonight the Red Sox are in Baltimore (feels like home!) with Crabcakes pitching against Jason Berken at 7:05. Here’s hoping he pitches at LEAST as well as Brad Penny did on Sunday (another shout out to Penny. It isn’t his fault the offense didn’t come through for him!) and that the offense DOES come through this time around.

Hey, if you see Harmon Killebrew today wish him a happy 73rd birthday!

June 29, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , | Leave a comment

I'll never love you then at all the way I do today

PVs going out to Jonathan Van Every who is undergoing knee surgery this week. Photo taken by Kelly O’Connor/ and used with permission.

If I never see another shattered bat in baseball I’ll be a happy woman. The idea that Nick Green could have been speared by that thing just wigs me out. He seemed to handle it happening to him a lot better than I did watching it happen to him.

But I have no real complaints. The Sox did what I wanted – won the series. This sets up tonight to be, relatively, stress-free for John Smoltz. Sure he might have some butterflies (although I have a difficult time imagining Smoltz with “butterflies”. Maybe vampire bats hopped up on Red Bull.) but tonight is kind of a no-lose situation. Yes, the team wants to sweep and pad their lead in the East…but how nice is it that they can bring Smoltz out for his first major league appearance this year against the Nationals and after a four game winning streak? I’m not conceding tonight’s game at all…I’m just saying a win will be fabulous and a loss will be workable. I’m better with a win but I’m really okay either way.

To say I’m worried about John Smoltz would be an exaggeration. He’s one of my all-time favorite pitchers (I’ve mentioned before how I sat in rainy Fenway to see him pitch while having an allergic reaction to all the clam chowder around me and didn’t leave until he did) and I was thrilled when the Red Sox got him. But I don’t think he’s going to amp it up this season and win 20 games for the Sox. I’m just happy that the team is in a position where they can afford to put him out there and hope for the best while knowing they have a backup plan in case of the worst.

Sox have won 15 games in June and lost 5. They’re 9-5 in Interleague play this year and they’ve won 7 of their last 10 games. They’re 5 games ahead of New York and Toronto (tied for second place) and things look pretty nice from this angle.

Speaking of Toronto, my guy Bronson got his butt kicked by them last night. I was torn. I like the AL East teams to lose and I always want Bronson to win, but having the Blue Jays keep in time with the Yankees is kind of sweet!

The live blogs are much more fun when the team is winning so it was nice we got another one last night! Thanks, again to everyone who stopped by (the contributors AND the lurkers!) and thank you for entertaining me while I do my “job”!

7:05 tonight: John Smoltz v Jordan Zimmermann. Zimmermann was born the year I graduated from high school. Smoltz was born the year before I was born. Hell, I’d be rooting for Smotlz tonight even if he wasn’t on the Red Sox.

Old dudes rule!

June 25, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , | Leave a comment

But I won't stop and falter

Jonathan Van Every sure has had an interesting time of it since being called up. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Forget any other aspects of Thursday night’s game. Only one thing lost that game: pitching. Matt Garza’s excellent pitching and Josh Beckett’s, well, not-so excellent pitching.

Good news? Well Josh Beckett seems to be pissed right now so maybe that will translate into some awesomeness next time around.

“I just gave up seven [expletive] runs in five innings,” Beckett said in a nearly empty visitors’ clubhouse. “That’s not close to me. Is that close to you? Yeah, it’s frustrating. It’s a lot of things. I just got to make adjustments. Obviously, I didn’t do that between my last two starts.”

Here’s hoping he does “that” this time around.

I’m only mildly ashamed to admit that I was very happy when Jacoby broke up the perfect game in the seventh inning. (Very impressive outing for Matt Garza. Definitely deserves a tip of the hat. But I’m really glad the Rays didn’t no-hit/perfect game the Sox.)

Let’s just take comfort in there being three more games of this series. Today is definitely a good day to trot out “As long as they win the series, I’ll be happy”. I mean it, too. It’s painful to watch your team get hammered that way but when you look at the big picture, well, they’re going to lose some. It’s over and now the focus goes to winning some.

In Pawtucket, Charlie Zink got hammered for five runs in a PawSox loss and Kyle Snyder’s Buffalo Bisons avoided another loss by having yet another game rained out. Interesting about the Bisons rain out: They scheduled the double-header for today to start at 5:30pm. So there will be a genuine double-header. MLB needs to look into doing this once in a while.

Let’s focus on something positive: Dave Roberts is coming back to Boston!

NESN announced today that Roberts, the former Red Sox outfielder and postseason hero, has joined the network to serve as a studio analyst. Roberts will join Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley and Jim Rice on NESN’s pre- and post-game shows.

“We are thrilled to have Dave join our team of outstanding studio analysts,” said Joel Feld, NESN’s executive vice president of programming and executive producer. “Dave is an icon in Red Sox Nation. He has a deep knowledge of the game and understands the passion of Red Sox fans.”

Roberts will make his NESN debut this Monday from the new Yankee Stadium when the Red Sox play the Yankees. During the game, he will also join NESN’s Red Sox broadcast team of Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy in the booth for a couple of innings.

I’m fairly certain the only thing to help a Red Sox/Yankees series not be so painful is Dave Roberts. Hell, I’m certain that Dave Roberts could take a rainbow, wrap it in a sigh, soak it in the sun and make a groovy lemon pie at this point. He can do anything!

And now he’ll be doing it on my television!! As noted by my exclamation points, I’m very excited about this!

Tonight, Justin Masterson will make us forget last night.

May 1, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Big hands I know you're the one

JVE steals a home run from a Mud Hen in 2008. Photo by Kelly O’Connor/ and used with permission.

While live blogging the game last night, I literally yelled out loud when Jonathan Van Every’s home run left the park. I was watching the game alone (although online with lots of folks – thanks, again, for stopping by!) and I don’t usually get that vocal…but JVE’s home run was certainly something to yell about. I love it when the ones who get no publicity get some glory!

I’m not going to get into how Jon Lester gave me a headache that lasted until he left the game.

Sox won. Van Every gets his moment in the sun. All is well in the universe.

Speaking of the universe, it has been very kind to me lately (with a big push from many of you!).

Yesterday I get an email from someone at Comcast Sports Net asking me if I’d like to be one of three Boston Red Sox bloggers featured on Saturday’s inaugural edition of “The Baseball Show“. Be up at 8am on a Saturday to possibly talk to Lou Merloni? Yeah, I think I can swing that. I’m quite appreciative that the folks at Comcast asked and I just hope I don’t drop too many r’s! The segment I’ll be a part of will be pre-recorded but you all will get to catch it around 9:55am on both Comcast Sports Net and WEEI Radio. For those of you not in the area, you can also listen to it at the Comcast website or My part in it all will be short but the opportunity to plug the blog is much appreciated.

No rest for the weary: Sox are in Florida for a four-game series against the Rays with Beckett taking the mound against Matt Garza tonight. Beckett won’t give me a headache, right?


April 30, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , | Leave a comment

PLEASE tell me this is a joke

Michael Bowden better fatten up in the off-season (Photo by Kelly O'Connor)

Michael Bowden better fatten up in the off-season (Photo by Kelly O'Connor)

I am usually loath to link to Tony Massarotti, but this story annoyed me enough to do so tonight.  It seems that Major League Baseball has denied a request to bump the meal money for Minor League players from$20 to $25 (this is per day for when they’re on the road).

Yes.  They denied a FIVE DOLLAR increase in the meal money for the kids in the minors.  Five dollars.  I’m not sure which part of this story pisses me off more.  That TWICE the increase was approved across the board.  Once in August when representatives for all 30 Major League teams voted unanimously to approve it and then in November at the GM meetings where all 30 general managers approved it.  Or that MLB’s defense of why they denied it is because of “national economic concerns”.

Are you kidding me?  The increase would cost each team around $25,000 each.  AND THE TEAMS ARE WILLING TO PAY IT but Major League Baseball says “no”?

As much as the player’s union gets under my skin, at times, this is an instance when it seems clear that the minor leaguers need some kind of representation.  It is absolute bull that these kids can’t get an extra $5 for meals when the teams are ALL all right with it.

The proposal subsequently was approved by all 30 general managers at the GM meetings in California last month, at which point MLB was to present the matter to team owners at last month’s owners meetings in New York.

According to one of the two team reps, MLB failed to present the proposal to owners at all, tabling the matter until at least next season. The same team rep said that the 30 clubs were unanimous in their frustration over the matter because they felt as if the game’s governors were needlessly squeezing minor leaguers.

Gee, ya think? Of COURSE they’re squeezing the minor leaguers. Because they CAN. There isn’t anyone to say “This stinks and we’re not going to put up with it!”.  I admit to not knowing enough about the business of MLB that I don’t get why, if the teams want to pay it, they just don’t pay it.  Will they get fined by MLB?  Does MLB dole out the money so the team doesn’t have it unless MLB says they can?

The other day I could have sworn I saw Jonathan Van Every on the Orange Line.  If I see him again, I’m totally giving him $25.

The matter is now “tabled” until this time next year.  So, good luck to you, Jeff Natale, if you think you’re going to eat anywhere but McDonald’s in 2009.

December 11, 2008 Posted by | Minor League Baseball | , , , | 6 Comments