David Price has had no problem calling Major League Baseball on its shortcomings this year.
Earlier this month, the Boston Red Sox pitcher took MLB to task for its ineffectiveness in marketing star African-American players like teammate Mookie Betts. On Wednesday, Price turned his attention to Jackie Robinson Day.
Hey @mlb every year on April 15th we celebrate Jackie Robinson Day...EVERYONE plays on that day next year deal? No one should have an off day let alone 10 teams!!— David Price (@DAVIDprice24) April 17, 2019
1/3 of @mlb teams had an off day on Jackie Robinson day...I just can’t wrap my head around that. We’ve had a problem for a while and this couldn’t make it any more noticeable.— David Price (@DAVIDprice24) April 17, 2019
Price did more than just tweet. He told Chris Mason of the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune that he spoke to commissioner Rob Manfred and Players' Association director Tony Clark about it.
"I saw Tony Clark when I was eating lunch today and I told him," Price said. "I spoke to Manfred on the phone today. And I told him. That's all I can do."
MLB initiated Jackie Robinson Day in 2004 as a way to commemorate Robinson's debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, when he broke MLB's color barrier as the league's first African-American player.
Jackie Robinson Day lands on April 15 every year, but as Price points out, only 20 of the league's 30 teams (including the Red Sox) actually played a game on April 15 this year, meaning 10 teams didn't get to participate in the event.
Teams have continued to honor Robinson this week by having every player wear his iconic No. 42 jersey -- the Red Sox and New York Yankees all donned No. 42 on Tuesday night -- but if you ask Price, MLB is doing Robinson's legacy a disservice by giving 10 teams an off day on April 15.
Alex Cora, the Red Sox first-ever minority manager, supported Price's stance.
"Just reading [Price's tweet] and thinking about it, it makes sense to play that day, everybody plays," Cora told the Eagle-Tribune. "The league will take a look at it and maybe he’s right about this and the league will make an adjustment. It’s a special day for everybody so I think, in my opinion, yes he’s right about that."
Wednesday evening, MLB responded to Price's concerns in a statement:
We now have an MLB statement in response to David Price’s complaint on Twitter that one-third of MLB teams were scheduled off this past Monday, April 15, date of annual Jackie Robinson Day. pic.twitter.com/PL23avsnuu— Michael Silverman (@MikeSilvermanBB) April 17, 2019
Elsewhere in Jackie Robinson Day controversies, Budweiser removed an ad titled, "This Bud's For Jackie" this week after receiving harsh blowback.
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