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 FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -The Boston Red Sox have taken the field for their final spring training game in Florida, now scheduled to begin an hour late amid a pay dispute for their trip to Japan.
The players had refused to play the final spring training game in Florida and threatened to boycott their flight to Japan for their season openers unless their coaches and other staff are paid for the trip.
It was unclear if the issue was resolved, but players started stretching and fans were told the game would begin at 1:10 p.m.
Before noon, fans filled the stadium, the national anthems were sung and Boston and Toronto lineups were announced, but the game did not begin at its 12:07 p.m. scheduled start.
Baseball spokesman Rich Levin said the sport's lawyers were dealing with the situation.
``We're trying to work it out,'' he said.
Manager Terry Francona and his players were upset after learning staff members are not going to get a $40,000 stipend. The Boston Herald reported players insisted part of their agreement to make the trip included the fee - for them and the coaches.
``I did not have an off day yesterday. I had the phone glued to my ear because I was promised some answers and I haven't even received a phone call,'' Francona said Wednesday. ``So I'm a little bit stuck. What I want to do this morning is get excited to play a baseball game and what I ended up doing is apologizing to the coaches and being humiliated.''
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