Bill James has been a contrarian -- to his benefit -- for most of his professional life, so his defense of Joe Paterno over the weekend couldn't have been a big surprise to too many people. After all, this is a man who argued strenuously that there was no proof Pete Rose bet on baseball almost up the moment Rose admitted his guilt.
However, the groundbreaking baseball analyst has been an employee of the Red Sox since late 2002 . . . and speculation was that standing up for Joe Paterno wouldn't fly with the p.r.-conscious bunch on Yawkey Way. Late Monday afternoon, our instincts proved correct with the issuing of the following statement:
BOSTON, MA -- This afternoon, Red Sox Principal Owner John Henry and Executive Vice PresidentGeneral Manager Ben Cherington spoke to Bill James regarding him making public his personal opinions on Joe Paterno.In that call, Mr. James was informed that his comments in no way reflect the opinions or positions of the Red Sox; and, because he is perceived as a representative of the Red Sox, he was asked to refrain from any further public comments on this matter.
Jackie Bradley Jr. will likely have a spotless attendance record for White House trips.
The Boston Red Sox outfielder began discussing those championship trips to meet the president after Red Sox chairman Tom Werner referenced the New England Patriots' Super Bowl win at a team get-together on Friday morning.
“If my team is going, yes, I’m going,” Bradley Jr. told WEEI.com's Rob Bradford, adding later, “I don’t like politics, not even a little bit.”
The Patriots so far have six players who have openly stated they will not attend New England's White House trip to meet President Donald Trump. Team leaders like Dont'a Hightower and Devin McCourty are among those unwilling to attend.
For Bradley, the White House trip is not about making a political statement.
“The reason why we’re going there is because we did something together as a team. The White House is cool,” he said. “I’m with my team."
The 26-year-old outfielder has twice attended the championship trip to the nation's capital. In college, he went with the South Carolina Gamecocks after they won the College World Series. He later attended with the Red Sox in 2013. Bradley Jr. said he enjoyed attending the White House to meet Barack Obama, but added he wasn't concerned with which president was hosting the event.
He said: “How many people can say they’ve been to the White House? That alone. There is a lot history there, and I’m a big fan of architecture. I think the whole thing is unique.”
Trenni Kusnierek talks with Dave Dombrowski about the Red Sox clubhouse and their expectations for the 2017 season.