The sense of international goodwill Major League Baseball was hoping to spread with the Boston Red Sox-Oakland Athletics trip to Japan has been threatened before the plane even leaves the tarmac.
At issue is whether the Red Sox coaches will be paid $40,000 each -- the same as each player will be getting -- for the Japan appearance, which includes two exhibition games as well as two games that will count in the standings.
According to the Boston Herald, the Red Sox will hold a players-only meeting Wednesday morning about the situation. The players are prepared to respond to Major League Baseball with an ultimatum -- if the coaches aren't paid, the Red Sox players will not get on the plane to go to Japan, the Herald reported.
The team -- and manager Terry Francona, in particular -- was incensed when it learned each coach would not be receiving the $40,000, a stipulation that was in the original agreement to go to Japan, the Herald reported.
Francona first found out there might be an issue two days ago, when he discovered Athletics coaches already knew they were not being paid. Francona told the Boston Globe that he has been trying to reach Major League Baseball officials for two days, to no avail.
He said he did not care about the money for himself, but for some of the coaches, $40,000 is two-fifths of a salary, a tidy bonus for an 18-day trip that also includes a coaching clinic and a visit to a U.S. Army base, the Globe reported.
The Red Sox were scheduled to have a send-off, with fans cheering them on as they board their buses for the airport following a 12:05 p.m. game against the Toronto Blue Jays at City of Palms Park.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report