Red Sox ad­viser draws play­ers’ ire

Chicago Sun-Times - - BY THE NUMBERS -

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.

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