David Price criticizes MLB for teams idle on Jackie Robinson Day


Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price. (Elise Amendola/AP)

NEW YORK — Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price thinks Major League Baseball made a mistake by having just 10 games Monday on Jackie Robinson Day.

"Hey mlb every year on April 15th we celebrate Jackie Robinson Day," Price tweeted Wednesday. "EVERYONE plays on that day next year deal? No one should have an off day let alone 10 teams!!"

African American players dropped from 18 per cent of the majors leagues in 1991 to 7.7 per cent in 2017, then rose to 8.4 per cent in 2018, according to The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at Central Florida. Price, who won the 2012 AL Cy Young Award, thinks more efforts on Jackie Robinson Day are needed.

Jackie Robinson broke the major league colour barrier for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.

"1/3 of mlb teams had an off day on Jackie Robinson day," tweeted Price, who is black. "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."

This year, April 15 fell on a Monday. Most teams’ scheduled off days are on Mondays and Thursdays.

"In a perfect world, all teams would play on Jackie Robinson Day," Major League Baseball said in a statement. "Unfortunately, there are some scheduling challenges when April 15th falls on a Monday, which is a heavy travel day for clubs. MLB worked with the clubs who were not playing on Monday to ensure that their players would wear 42 and have festivities on Tuesday to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day. While it is not ideal, one benefit is that this extends the celebration and awareness of Jackie Robinson Day over two days and guarantees that every one of our players participates."

Red Sox manager Alex Cora agreed with his player.

"It makes sense to play that day," Cora said. "In my opinion, yes, he’s right about that."

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