Red Sox adviser draws players’ ire
MLBPA executive director Tony Clark and several major league players have taken Red Sox special adviser Bill James to task for saying players are as important to the game as “beer vendors” and that “the game would go on” with whoever replaces them.
In a series of tweets, some of which were later deleted, James challenged on social media “to explain why a player making $3 million a year is underpaid” and why it’s “disingenuous to argue that [players] are taking money out of the mouths of concessions workers.”
“If the players all retired tomorrow, we would replace them,” James continued. “The game would go on; in three years it would make no difference whatsoever. The players are NOT the game, any more than the beer vendors are.”
James’ comments drew the ire of Clark and players past and present.
“The comments Bill James made yesterday are both reckless and insulting considering our game’s history regarding the use of replacement players,” Clark said in a statement issued Thursday. “The Players ARE the game. And our fans have an opportunity to enjoy the most talented baseball Players in the world every season.”
♦ Owners plan to vote on a new term for Commissioner Rob Manfred, a new television contract with Fox and an agreement for in-game cut-ins with the subscription video streaming service DAZN when they meet next week in Atlanta.
♦ Third baseman Jung Ho Kang agreed to a one-year, $3 million to remain with the Pirates.
Thunder win seventh in row
Paul George had 20 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and six steals and the Thunder beat the Rockets 98-80 without point guard Russell Westbrook (sprained left ankle) for their seventh consecutive victory.
♦ Bob Naegele Jr., the founding owner of the Minnesota Wild, died of complications from cancer. He was 78.