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Selig likely won't punish Sox

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  March 20, 2008 03:43 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Commissioner Bud Selig is not expected to impose any fines or punishment to Red Sox players for a work stoppage that delayed the start of Wednesday's spring training exhibition game vs. the Toronto Blue Jays at City of Palms Park by more than one hour.

While Selig has not yet met with his staff to discuss Wednesday's events, in which players protested the exclusion of coaches and staff in receiving a $40,000 appearance fee for the trip to Japan, word out of the commissioner's office is Selig will let it go, even though he appears miffed there was a delay in the game.

Selig, who will attend the Sox-A's games in Japan, was hands on in trying to work with the Red Sox and Players Association in making sure there was a resolution. In the end the Sox agreed to underwrite $600,000 and will get partial reimbursement from Major League Baseball. The Players Association made no contribution.

Sox manager Terry Francona spoke twice to Selig on Wednesday. Francona alluded to the fact Selig that expressed to him the desire to get the game played for the sake of the paying customers. Francona said the intent was not to inconvenience fans but to get the dispute settled. Fans were booing when the Red Sox didn't come on the field. The game eventually resumed at 1:11 p.m., just over an hour after the scheduled first pitch.

In the end, coaches and staff received their money, which will come out of Major League Baseball's portion of split revenues (with the players) for the series. The players will not pay any of it. In the past (Yankees-Devil Rays in 2004), coaches, manager, and staff were paid from the player portion of the gate receipts.

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