Red Sox could non-tender Andrew Bailey

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Reliever Andrew Bailey’s days with the Red Sox could be numbered. After moving to Boston in the Josh Reddick deal with the Athletics prior to the 2012 season, Bailey has made just 49 appearances in his two seasons with the Sox. He missed most of the 2012 season with a thumb injury, then had his 2013 season end abruptly to undergo surgery to repair labrum and capsule damage in his right shoulder.

Bailey is now eligible for arbitration for his third and final year, projected to take home a salary north of $4 million. As a result, the team could opt not to tender him a contract for the upcoming season, suggests Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. Bailey would enjoy continuing his career with the Red Sox, though he realizes that may not be possible:

“I’ll just wait and see,” he said. “Hopefully something will get worked out. If they take me through arbitration or not, I love the city, love the area, love the guys, and it’d be great to get the opportunity to play there again.

“I’d love to be back with Boston. I don’t really know what’s out there for me. In my mind, we’re going through arbitration until I’m notified otherwise. If that scenario happens, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m a Red Sox. I haven’t even though about those scenarios yet. Until something is on the table, you try not to think about it.”

Bailey is expected to miss the first half of the season. Meanwhile, the Red Sox were happily surprised from a number of their bullpen pieces throughout the 2013 season, namely Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Craig Breslow, and Andrew Miller. While a healthy and productive Bailey would be an asset, the Red Sox have enough talent in their bullpen to move on and not have to make a $4 million gamble on a reliever heading into his 30’s.

Nationals plan to activate Bryce Harper on Monday

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The Nationals are planning to activate Bryce Harper from the 10-day disabled list on Monday, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Janes adds that Harper has been taking his knee injury on a day-to-day basis, so if he experiences pain ahead of tomorrow’s series opener in Philadelphia, then the Nationals won’t activate him.

Harper, 24, suffered a knee injury running out a grounder last month against the Giants. The Nationals hope to get him into some game action before the end of the regular season just so he can get acclimated in time for the playoffs.

When Harper returns, he’ll look to improve on his .326/.419/.614 slash line with 29 home runs, 87 RBI, and 92 runs scored in 472 plate appearances.

Here’s what Jackie Robinson had to say about the national anthem

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For a lot of people, athletes expressing their political viewpoints by protesting the national anthem is a relatively new concept. But the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Jackie Robinson is celebrated every year across baseball on April 15, marking the day he broke the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Robinson was an activist well beyond that momentous occasion, highlighting issues black athletes face as editor for Our Sports magazine. He openly criticized then-GM of the Yankees George Weiss on television for the lack of diversity on his team. He helped spur restaurants and hotels to serve black people by criticizing their segregation publicly. Robinson became the first black vice president of an American corporation when he joined coffee company Chock full o’Nuts, and he became the first black baseball analyst when he joined ABC’s Major League Baseball Game of the Week. Of course, Robinson was also the first black member of baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Robinson had an issue with the national anthem as well. As Deadspin’s Lindsey Adler pointed out, Robinson wrote about the anthem in his memoir, I Never Had It Made.

There I was the black grandson of a slave, the son of a black sharecropper, part of a historic occasion, a symbolic hero to my people. The air was sparkling. The sunlight was warm. The band struck up the national anthem. The flag billowed in the wind. It should have been a glorious moment for me as the stirring words of the national anthem poured from the stands. Perhaps it was, but then again perhaps the anthem could be called the theme song for a drama called The Noble Experiment. Today as I look back on that opening game of my first world series, I must tell you that it was Mr. Rickey’s drama and that I was only a principal actor. As I write this twenty years later, I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world. In 1972, in 1947, at my birth in 1919, I know that I never had it made.

Robinson is referring to systemic power that has entrenched whiteness and ostracized blackness. Robinson may have ascended as one of the greatest players of all time and he may have broken the color barrier, but the league was still owned and run entirely by white people, which is what he meant by referring to himself as a “principal actor” in Branch Rickey’s “drama.” Rickey was the white executive who signed Robinson and supported him as the color barrier was broken. Robinson could not have done what he did without the aid of white people like Rickey who have the ability to leverage their systemic power.

Without question, Robinson would have supported the protests of Colin Kaepernick and many others who want to bring attention to the unfair ways in which black people interact with the police and the justice system. And it makes one realize that the people who purport to admire Robinson and his many accomplishments would have said the same things they say about Kapernick et. al. now to Robinson back in 1947. And to Muhammad Ali. And to John Carlos and Tommie Smith. The more things change, the more they stay the same.