The latest word — and I suspect final word — in the Bill James Twitter controversy was just had. It came from the Boston Red Sox, for whom James works.
To remind you, James last night called players overpaid and, when it was suggested that some were underpaid, he sarcastically said “my heart bleeds for them.” He went on to say “If the players all retired tomorrow, we would replace them, 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.”
The players union issued a statement condemning James’ comments this morning. A few minutes ago the Red Sox followed suit:
That’s exactly what you would expect the Red Sox to say. Even if, as I suspect, James and the Red Sox are more aligned regarding their opinions about player value than their public positions would indicate. Like I mentioned earlier today, James’ transgression was not a case of a member of management holding a view of workers that is appalling, it’s that he said it out loud.
The players know the owners would, if they could, replace them with low-paid replacements. The owners know that, practically speaking, they cannot do that, because the product would stink and people would stop showing up. As such, they don’t say things like James says because to do so would only serve to antagonize people.
Anyway: back to a free agent market which hasn’t seen any major free agents sign yet.